It has been said that happy families are all alike, but unhappy families are each unhappy in their own way. If you’ve ever had the stress of dealing with an unruly family member, you’ll probably relate to these tales of family drama. It’s easy enough to avoid friends who are total pains, but good luck cutting ties with family members who just don’t know when enough is enough.
The Golden Child
My friend got tired of her Golden Child Stepsister mooching off her Netflix account after they had a petty argument over the phone. The sister called my friend screaming at her about what a witch she is. Talking about how she’ll never amount to anything, and how she’s just a waste of space—meanwhile, the sister is $60k in debt in student loans.
Oh, and she dropped out in her final year. My friend decided she’d had enough. She then also changed the password to her Hulu and Amazon Prime accounts too, cutting her spoiled sister off further. After her sister exploded, my friend simply texted her saying, “You could always pay for your own accounts.” The sister’s response was so priceless.
“I don’t have any more money you witch! Sephora was having a sale so I’m tapped out! Screw you!” My friend and I are still laughing about this as we binge-watch shows on her accounts.
Ruining the Surprise
I recently found out that I am pregnant. I am overjoyed as I have always wanted a child of my own. I focused on my career in my life and since I am single, I wasn’t sure if having a baby would ever happen. I was excited to tell my family the big news. My older sister has one child, my nephew who is seven. My brother is married but he and his wife have made it very clear they will always be child-free.
Last night we had a family dinner and I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to share the news. Since this will be my only child I wanted to make it special and I also wanted to involve my nephew. I got a shirt that read “this is what an awesome big cousin looks like”. I slipped away with my nephew before dinner and had a special moment with him while I told him he was going to have a cousin.
My nephew was very excited and put on the shirt. He put his sweater on over it and I told him he could take the sweater off whenever he wanted at dinner. In the middle of dinner, he took off the sweater and waited for someone to notice. Soon my sister jumped up and excitedly screamed when she saw the shirt. But here’s where it all started to go wrong.
They all then immediately assumed it was my sister-in-law. I wasn’t hurt by them assuming this and I kind of expected it because she is married. I was hurt because my sister-in-law didn’t try to correct them. She just went along with it and began to rub her flat belly while laughing. I must have looked completely hurt because my mother yelled at me to stop being rude and to congratulate them.
I tried to explain that I was the one who gave my nephew the shirt. They all didn’t even hear me and just continued to fawn over my sister-in-law. My brother stood frozen in shock just asking his wife if she was serious. I got up and went home. I received multiple texts at this point from them telling me what a jerk I am for making this all about me.
They said things like it wasn’t my sister-in-law’s fault that I was jealous. I didn’t reply to anything and just cried myself to sleep. This morning my sister-in-law must have finally let it slip that she is not pregnant. They have now all called me to apologize saying that they just got caught up in the moment. But they had to add in a cruel little twist.
They said I shouldn’t have left the dinner and that it’s my fault I wasn’t clear enough that I was the one who is pregnant. My mom said I could have a redo dinner so I can get it right and they will all act surprised. My sister-in-law sent me a message that said that the way I chose to announce was how she wanted to do it if she ever got pregnant.
She said that since she is not ever having a child, she just wanted to experience what the moment would be like. She also said I can have my chance at the redo dinner. I told them no and that I will not be doing a redo. Every single person has now told me I am being selfish and a jerk because I won’t let them make it right. To me, there’s no fixing this.
I will eventually forgive them but I don’t want to do a second announcement so they feel better.
Back when my awful sister was planning her wedding, her even worse mother-in-law wanted to be a part of it. Unfortunately for everyone involved, this woman wanted her family traditions involved. The food…okay, the giant line dance…okay, but then she sprang the big one on my poor mother. It was apparently a tradition in her family that unmarried older daughters had to do a dance in a pig trough at the reception.
Well, my sister and brother-in-law thought that would be hilarious. Being that I was the only unmarried older daughter…So funny. My poor mom was getting torn down by this mother-in-law—because it was just a JOKE. That was repeated and insisted on in every single phone call. Meanwhile, my mom is just trying to protect me from that spectacle and wasn’t telling me.
But finally, I saw her crying and she told me what was going on. But there was one thing they weren’t counting on. At that point, I was only a short time out of a very horrible relationship. I didn’t remember how to say “no” yet, but I did remember how to say “I’m taking you all down with me.” And oh boy, did I ever come up with a genius plan.
I told the mother-in-law that I’d be happy to do that dance in front of her entire family…undressed. And only undressed. Suddenly, it wasn’t so funny anymore. Eventually, they all shut up about it, but that was the last time that woman ever spoke to me. It’s been 12 years, by the way.
Passing Down a Legacy
So my fiancée and I have been together for about three years total and engaged for almost a year. We are planning to get married after the baby arrives. She’s seven months pregnant and we are having a boy. Here’s where the drama starts. My grandfather passed in a heroic but devastating way when I was young. Since then, I have always wanted to name my first son after him.
He was my mom’s dad, and she wanted this even more than me. She has always, always stressed to me how important and meaningful this would be, but I’ve always wanted to do this as well. My grandfather didn’t have the stereotypical old-man name but actually had a name that is still common today. His name is also actually my fiancée’s dad’s name.
My fiancée never spoke about her dad other than telling me when we first started dating that she does not have a relationship with him and wants to leave it at that. She also told me a shortened name of his name which sounds similar but is different to my grandfather’s. But anyway, I never pressed her about it. I didn’t connect this at the time, but she never addressed my grandfather by name.
She just called him my grandfather. However, I thought this was normal because she’s never met him and that’s what I call him. I can’t forget her reply when I told her what I wanted to name our son. She said no. I couldn’t believe she said no so flat-out like that. I kept trying to convince her, letting her know how important and meaningful this was to me and the name is still common today.
It’s not like I wanted to name him an ugly or outdated name. I found her crying a couple times though and she eventually broke down and told me that that was her father’s name too and her father seriously mistreated her from the ages of 12-18, when she left for college. I felt horrible and of course, told her we won’t call our son that. I love the name and I love my grandfather.
I miss him terribly and would love to honor him in this way, but I love my fiancée more than anything and I don’t want her to spend the rest of her life having that name in regular use. I also don’t want it to feel like to her or anyone else that we named our son after her father. Selfishly, it really sucks that we won’t be naming our son this name.
But I am trying to come to terms with that. But that’s not the problem really—my family’s reaction was 100 times worse. My parents and especially my mom and extended family on mom’s side as well as my siblings have been doing everything imaginable to try to convince us to call our son this name. My fiancée ended up actually telling my mom what happened and why we won’t use this name.
This was hard for her to do because other than her own mom and therapist, she had never told anyone else about what happened. My mom acted sympathetic and understanding but ended up telling everyone else in our family what happened. Now everyone is contacting us to offer “support” and console my fiancée but also to tell her about how wonderful my grandfather was.
They keep saying how the name would be after him and not her father and what a great name it is. I put my foot down (or so I thought) and told everyone that enough was enough and they had to stop contacting us. We blocked a lot of people on Facebook and a lot of phone numbers. This was a few months ago though, and now that the baby will be here in just two months, it’s gotten so much worse.
People have actually started referring to our son with the name. My mom made a post with a lot of photos of baby gifts and equipment and talked about how she was soooo excited to meet her grandson “______” who will be named after her father. My dad shared the post as well as most of her family. My siblings made their own posts about how they’re excited to meet their nephew, calling him by that name.
100% they are trying to name him that so that when he’s born, everyone will already think that’s his name and we’ll think we might as well just name him that officially. I have spoken to my parents and my mom privately so many times. I also gave her an earful when she blabbed my fiancée’s secret. But it doesn’t seem like anything is working.
My fiancée is distressed and cries almost every day, and every time she goes on social media. We did change her phone number though so that my family would no longer be able to text her. I’m just not sure what to do from here.
Your New Mom
My mom has 75% and primary physical custody of us kids but my parents share legal custody. However, my dad is an awful jerk so I refused to see him after I was 13. Later, for various reasons, my mom and I moved to another state. My mom never remarried but my dad had a series of girlfriends throughout my childhood. This never really bothered me.
After all, he left when I was six weeks old and I never actually knew what it was like when my parents were romantically involved. Anyways, one day when I was something like 13 years old, I come back from school to find an odd car parked on the street and my dad basically said “okay, you’re gonna meet my new girlfriend now.” I went along with him and just kind of ignored him with a very bored look on my face.
That annoyed him, but whatever. I walk into the basement and there’s a random woman there. She’s significantly younger than my dad, who is in his 50s. She looks me up and down. I couldn’t believe her next words. With the most saccharine sweet tone she says, “Hi! I’m your new mom” and smiles at me. At this moment I was like “Oh, heck no”.
For what it’s worth, my mom raised me completely on her own and financed everything. My father did not pay child support. My mom took care of me in every way and she is the only one of the two who I consider an actual parent. So this witch was in no way my mom. I told her “screw off,” turned around, and went back up the stairs.
I couldn’t drive at the time but I was not having it. But they weren’t even finished. They followed me up to the driveway and kept bothering me and asking why that offended me. Then this girl tries to come up and hug me and I shoved her off me. I still had my backpack and jacket with me, so I decided to just leave. They followed me for a while and tried to chase me down.
However, a 13-year-old who is very angry is a lot faster than a 50-year-old man and his very annoying girlfriend who should have not worn heels that day. Once I got far enough away and closer to my mom’s, I texted her to come pick me up and that was that. This was one of the last interactions I had with my father before cutting him off completely.
I find this story hilarious, though then again I use humor to cope.
It All Came Crashing Down
My parents aren’t together. I haven’t seen my dad since a huge to-do occurred when I was 10, and I’m 18 now. That said, my mother stays in contact with him, because I have a severely disabled sister who often requires dual parental consent on forms. Her favorite method of contact is email, though they often call and she updates him on my sister.
Now, don’t be too harsh on my mother for this, but her password for her email is my sister’s birthday. So, it’s not too much of a stretch for the father of my sister to guess it. This is where it got creepy. My mother began to notice that whenever she received emails from her lawyer talking about decisions she made on my sister’s behalf (she has right of attorney), that my father would call the next day.
He would then suddenly go on a rant about the decision my mother just made. They’re things he’s actually against; he’s not just picking a fight. But strange how he always ends up choosing just the right time to rant about these things, huh? Anyway, recently, my family’s been going through some stuff. All my extended family are narcissists, alcoholics, criminals, etc.
So the ONLY support system we’ve ever really had has been my mother’s two best friends. For clarification, one is my godmother, the other is my honorary “aunt”. When I was little, my mother made me memorize both their numbers. She told me if anything happened to her, I was to call them right away, and they’d get me away from my dad before he even had a chance to fight for custody.
I lived with one of them during my rebellious teenage period. My mother didn’t understand mental illness—my aunt, who had a child with mental illness, was truly my savior at this time. The other one got us away from my father the instant she found out about his mistreatment. With a literal day’s notice, she flew out to our state, spent the day packing with us, then flew with my brother and I across the country.
We’d only booked tickets the night before, so my mother had to catch the next flight with my sister. They are our saving grace. So all this said, I always knew if something happened to my mom, I’d have them to fall back on; my mother told me that I’d go stay with my godmother, and my sister would go live with my aunt. Well, the worst has happened.
My mother’s sick. She’ll likely pass in the next year, or recover and live until 100. But my godmother and aunt are also sick too. They both have end-stage cancer and are terminal. My godmother is in her last six weeks. I’ve found all this out in just the past month, so it’s been a lot to deal with. As such, my mother had to update her will.
Power of attorney over my sister now goes to me, and everything is split equally between my brother and I—my brother is an addict and has responsibility issues. She took my dad out of it completely, knowing that if something does happen, I’ll need all the resources I can get—again, I’m only 18 years old, have an addict brother, zero support system to speak of, and a severely disabled sister.
Her lawyer sent the updated will through to her over email. It all came crashing down almost instantly. The next day, my father called her, madder than he’s been in years, or so my mother said. He spiraled into a rant, about how his “co-worker” has just been dragged through the mud by his ex-wife, who took him out of her will, and how evil is that?
Who could do that? He told her that the best thing she could ever do was give him 100% of her estate upon her passing. This man, who has done NOTHING for me, my sister, my brother, or my mother, thinks he should get EVERYTHING FROM HER?? I’m EIGHTEEN YEARS OLD. My sister is a mentally disabled, severely physically handicapped, brain damaged 22-year-old who needs 24-hour constant care.
My brother is an ADDICT who I don’t see for weeks on end. And he thinks he should get 100% of my mother’s estate (which is a plot of land and roughly $60,000 to both me and my brother) and leave me with my sister, no house over our heads, no food on the table? Screw off. I’m a teenage girl who’s enduring my world crumbling beneath my feet.
I have no idea what I’m going to do if something happens. I have no concept of how to even begin to deal with the task that’s been thrown at me. But at least with what my mother would leave me, I’d be able to learn. But he wants to leave us with nothing? Get screwed. Needless to say, my mother’s lawyer cut all communication through email.
He also told her to immediately make a new account. She doesn’t know how, so she gave me the phone and he told me what to do. She and I are now the only ones with the passwords, because I’d need to get records of everything in case of her passing.
I remember when we stayed with my sister-in-law one time, and I bought two weeks’ worth of food with one paycheck of my fiancé’s. She told us, “The way you guys stock food like that is disgusting! You should only buy what you need”! I said “Hey, you never know what is going to happen. What if next week we can’t afford food”? Her answer made me want to scream.
“NOOOOOOoOoOoOo! God says only buy what you need and don’t be greedy”! Well, guess what? After one week in quarantine, she is now on Facebook ranting about having no toilet paper and worrying about the lack of food on shelves to buy. Hmm. Looks like me buying extra food and necessities every week isn’t disgusting or nasty or a sin or immoral now, is it?
We’re here in our apartment with a toilet paper stock we bought over the course of the past year, pounds of rice, seeds to grow our own food, pounds of beans, canned goods, and microwave meals. Suddenly me growing up poor and always keeping a small stock isn’t gross? Hilarious. Good luck surviving on Walmart scraps.
You shouldn’t have hated me for being bi; I would have shared our stock with you gladly. But I’m not family, remember?
My identical twin has always been competitive with me. We were raised by narcissists, so we were often pitted against each other. She married her high school sweetheart about a year after our father passed. I moved two states away for grad school when I was 22 and only come home on special occasions like holidays nowadays.
Christmas 2018 was one of those holidays I was home. I alternate spending holidays with my family and my partner’s family. At the time, I was dealing with a health scare that Web MD said could either be a hormone imbalance or cancer. I was freaking out. My partner didn’t know how to be supportive because we’re in our 20s and kind of dumb.
We were arguing somewhat consistently for the month. Anyway, my sister has a bad habit of cheating on her husband whenever they’re dealing with an argument. It’s been going on for almost as long as they’ve been married. He knows but won’t do anything about it because he’s in love with her. My sister invited me to spend an evening with her and her husband.
It was supposed to be us just catching up and having a few beers. I couldn’t believe it when I realized what her plan was. She invited a guy from her husband’s work that she thought I would find attractive. Because, you know, she thought I wanted to cheat on my partner because we were fighting at the time. That didn’t pan out, and he left.
She then invited one of her college friends over. We had a good talk, but that’s it. It turns out we had a lot in common. I was texting my partner the whole time, and he was less than thrilled about the whole situation. We had a good talk, and my issues were resolved a few weeks later; it was just hormones. My partner and I are now engaged and very happy.
He still hates my sister, and I don’t blame him.
What Goes Around, Comes Around
My father cheated on my mom when I was four and went on to marry his mistress. Now, this is not even about that but about the fact that my father not only divorced my mom but also divorced ME. To give you a bit of background, he avoided me for most of my childhood and teens. My parents had shared custody of me but he would only ask to see me once a month.
Twice if I begged and called a lot to see him. He refused to pay child support and when he would, it would be 6+ months late and would be much less than what was agreed on. According to him, my mom was rich and my grandfather was fully capable of supporting me. Except as far as I know he is the one who helped create me…not my grandfather.
He moved out of the country (which is one of the most dangerous countries in the world) when I was 17 under the excuse of a two-week vacation and never came back. He took his wife and two kids and left me. When I found out I was too hurt to say anything but my mom confronted him. His words back cut me to the bone. His only response was “I have to take care of my family”.
His wife doesn’t like me, of course, and there are no pictures of me at their house. My mother remarried and I have a WONDERFUL stepfather who raised me better than my father ever could. He paid for my education and everything I ever needed. Later on, I moved out of my country with my father’s visa. My stepdad offered him money to allow me to come to school under his visa and he took it.
I saw my father maybe four times in the last five years (awkward, forced trips). It was maybe for a day each time, and each time he wanted a family picture to post on social media and act like a doting father. He has never helped me with school, never helped me move, and never came when I was sick or heartbroken or sad. I was in the same country as him all on my own, and he was the only family I had there.
Fast forward to the last two years. I met an amazing man who happens to be a citizen of the country I’m in. We were together for a year and a half and my dad met him once. It was at my graduation that he asked to be a part of, and I reluctantly invited him. However, as usual, he only came to take a picture to post on Facebook.
There was no dinner, no present, nothing. He spoke for maybe a minute to my then-boyfriend about baseball and that was it. Today I’ve been married to that same man for six months. My father didn’t bring us a card or a present. Fine, whatever. But there’s just one thing. Now my father and stepmom want to see us…a lot. And well, I think I know why.
Now, my father is in this country on a visa, which means eventually he has to leave. His children are citizens but much too young to do anything for him for at least another decade, when they become of age and can sponsor their parents. His family and my husband’s met for dinner and he took the bill for ALL 10 OF US. This was very shocking since my father is incredibly cheap.
I had already told my husband’s family to split the check since I knew my father would pay only for himself even if the event was his idea. Then before we left he jokingly told me I have to facilitate his way to citizenship since I’ll be married and a citizen myself soon…so there’s that. A month later, he invited me and my husband to a fancy hotel to spend New Year’s Eve.
He paid for absolutely everything for two days. The whole time my husband and I were just confused at all this attention we were getting…which brings me to this week. He has been calling weekly since early January to have my husband and I spend the weekend at their house (they live three hours away) this month. To be honest we are not buying it.
I always (stupidly) give him chances and he always disappoints me. My mother-in-law told me maybe he finally wants a relationship with me but the timing is SO OFF! Why did no one call when I was all alone in this country? Why now? My husband really dislikes him (he knows all he has put me through) and has already told me he won’t allow me to help him with citizenship.
He says he doesn’t deserve it and didn’t offer me help when I was in that situation, and he is right. I don’t want to help them, it would be a huge insult to my mother who in her own imperfect way took care of me all on her own. But I also feel bad for turning my back on him because it’s just not who I am. But I will not help him.
Karma took a while but it’s finally happening. I can’t wait to tell him “I have to take care of my family” once the time comes and he asks for my aid.
Two Daughters, No License
I’ve been working on getting a laptop for a year. I’ve been saving money, researching what I want, etc. And my cousins (bless them) just gave me a belated birthday gift—a big ol’ sum of cash. I can finally afford what I want after a year of tirelessly working for it! Now, my little sister is a very busy person. She has school, a job, and soccer.
Her schedule is set weeks in advance, so if I want to go get a laptop, I have to pick a day she’s doing nothing. Which is like, I don’t know, once a month? Because if she has plans, my parents are driving her around and I need to find a different ride. So I set up a day for me and my dad to go laptop shopping, which is the only day this month my sister isn’t busy!
And my dad kept his schedule clear for me too! Today is the day, and we were maybe an hour away from being ready to go, when my little sister called. She wants to go to a party. It’s an hour’s drive. She wants dad to drive her. This completely disrupts our plans, and now I’m sitting at home while he drives her to a party she decided on a whim she wanted to go to.
Surprise surprise…No matter what happens, no matter what I want to do, no matter how much I plan around her, she is always the priority. My options now are, I guess, wait until next month or find someone else to take me.
This post is about my cousin’s ex-girlfriend. Back in 2003 (if my memory serves me right), my cousin began dating a woman who was smarter, nicer, and way more successful than he was. As the outsider looking in, I never quite understood why she chose to be with him. More than that, my aunt and uncle (my cousin’s parents) never treated her with the respect that she deserved.
In fact, they despised her for being able to outshine their precious prince in every way possible. My cousin’s chauvinism too would rear its ugly head and he would pick fights with her over the dumbest things. One such fight that my dad and I witnessed was him telling her not to accept a job offer that would pay her double what he was making at the time.
About a month after that, my dad received a call from her tearfully telling him that my cousin had left her for another girl. And what’s more, he did it over the phone. She said she knew who the other girl was and that she was probably with my cousin when he broke up with her, as she could hear her voice. They had been together for two years at this point.
This sad excuse for a human being didn’t even have the decency to break up with her in person. My family’s reaction was despicable. As expected, my aunt and uncle defended their son. According to them, it was obviously his girlfriend’s fault for “not knowing her place”. My cousin’s new girlfriend couldn’t hold a candle to his ex in terms of talent and accomplishments.
But she did stroke his ego and didn’t threaten his super-fragile masculinity, so he ended up marrying and having a kid with her. Fast forward to now, my cousin was laid off from his last job. The circumstances of his dismissal are not known to me. But there is one juicy truth. What I have found out is that, at his new job, his boss’s boss…is the woman he had betrayed and humiliated years ago.
I can only imagine what this is doing to the jerk within my cousin and I cannot help but smile when I think about it. I learned all this from my dad. My dad is still in touch with one of the former girlfriend’s uncles and we decided to get her number and get in touch with her. Yesterday, my dad and I face-timed with her for nearly an hour.
She asked me about my life and I told her all about my job, my boyfriend, etc. She said she was happy for me. She told us she had been happily married for eight years now and had two daughters. She looked confident and radiant. I jokingly asked her how she planned to punish my cousin. She laughed and said she would probably thank him for breaking up with her and making her realize that he just wasn’t right for her.
Her smile was that of someone who has completely healed. Someone who can say “thank you for doing what you did to me, my life is better because of it”. The sense of pride and vindication I felt was almost overwhelming. She had won and she bloody well knew it!
Living Rent-Free in My Mind
I’m super pregnant. I’m in my last trimester now and we waited until I was 22 weeks to tell my family due to complications. We’re fine, but we’ve been spending all this time building our nursery and being excited to be parents. My husband worked on the nursery himself, without my overbearing family or his knowing about it. He is a very proud dad and it’s helped him bond immensely with our baby, who isn’t even here yet.
My family, full of awful people, is split in two. My dad’s family isn’t involved in this story—I’m fighting them on another front, but they took the news of the completed nursery very well. My mother’s family, specifically my aunt and cousin, didn’t take it well, but they were relieved I only wanted books from them for the baby’s library. My cousin has been in competition with me since she was a child.
I don’t know why, she’s the golden child and got everything she always wanted. I ignored her my whole life and never competed, which I think made it worse. She has repeatedly told our grandparents and her mom that I’m a thief. She claims I’ve always taken her things, called her rude names, and she always manages to get everyone worked up about it.
It’s always been disproven, her things are always found, but the family always buys it. It hurt so much the last time that I refused to be around my cousin without a second witness to our interactions. Thanks to that, there was no drama for three years because my husband was always with me. After hearing I’d gotten married (we eloped in a ceremony abroad), had a destination honeymoon, and was now having a baby, she wasn’t happy. I think that’s when she snapped. I’m now having the first great-grandchild for both families, which is a big deal for my cultural background. She tried after our announcement to “take over” my baby shower.
However, I told the family I wasn’t having one because we already got everything we needed. I have tons of clothes, furniture, etc. So I asked for books instead. Dinner went great with the whole side of the family being excited. However, I knew something was coming my way from my cousin because I’d refused her “generous offer” about the baby shower, thus not giving her any attention.
She texts me several days later (she shouldn’t have had my number in hindsight) and told me she’d be coming by my house to drop off “gifts” for my baby. I told her no thanks, we weren’t taking gifts. She tells me she’s coming by at this time and I told her I’d be out. I also said that even if I was home I’m not taking them, and I’m not having any discussions with her about my pregnancy or baby. You can guess what happened next.
She showed up anyway. She was apparently banging and screaming at my door (I have video footage from my Waze camera) so much that my neighbor called the authorities. They showed up and surprise! She has a warrant for unpaid traffic citations and was driving under a suspended license. So she gets locked up. Between my appointment and an emergency visit to the hospital (bloodwork issues, we wanted to confirm baby was okay), she’d managed to tell my family a different story.
I’d apparently opened the door, called her horrible names and called her gifts cheap, kicked her when she tried to take them back, and then slammed the door in her face with the gifts. I then apparently called the authorities, told them she had a warrant, and lied telling them she’d physically gone for me. She then went to lockup and was treated horribly.
I thought for sure my family had to know she was full of it—I was in the hospital for my baby. I was shocked at their reaction. They believed her. They came at me with texts, calls, voicemails, and all of it nasty. They didn’t believe me at all. My mother and bio-grandmother did, however, and tried to set the family straight. I decided I was done.
I’m not defending myself, why should I? I sent out a message to everyone that if they were going to believe my cousin, they were no longer allowed near my family. I would disown them all. I had proof she was lying. They didn’t believe me and kept up the nastiness. I blocked them all. Three weeks later, the church ladies at my work told me that the whole family was talking ugly about me to the whole (small) town.
I then showed them the texts and video since they were so shocked about what my family was saying. Once they saw the video and my pictures from the hospital (I made a video for myself of me watching my baby’s heart rate and the clock, so it kind of proves where I was) they were horrified. They stopped bothering me about it then and it got quiet.
A week ago, my cousin’s story truly fell apart when my grandfather and uncle ran into the officer who detained her. The church ladies and the officer backed my story up, and my cousin crumbled when she was confronted. The family is horrified, and my aunt and cousin are on the outs. They found out she also had substances in her car, so she’s lost her golden child status.
My whole family has been trying to come by my house, only to discover my neighborhood has a new key-code gate. My mother called me today to ask what she should do, as my grandfather came by her house sobbing about the whole thing. I told her it wasn’t my issue and I was sorry for her being caught up in it, but I’m not budging. I disowned them. And I went one step further.
I removed my family name from my hyphenated last name and just took my husband’s. I deleted my Facebook. I changed my number. We are listed privately. I won, as sad as it is, because they’re now facing the consequences of their actions. And I’m sad. I want my family, but they need to stay away. I can never give them another chance. What if they hurt me or, Gods forbid, my child next time with their behavior?
I’m at a loss. My mother says they want to send a letter. But do I even read it? My mother has effectively told the entire family I want to be left alone, she will not be passing any messages on to me from this point further, and that any more contact would involve our attorney. It got very quiet today and I’m quite relieved about it. I had my husband block everyone’s number.
I also sent my lovely church ladies (who bring me food and visit sometimes) a message detailing that I was too stressed to hear about my ex-family anymore. I asked that we drop that uncomfortable subject when they visit and they were happy to oblige. We had a small visit today and all we talked about was my nursery for the baby. Going forward I’ve decided to stick by my no-contact rule.
I am not giving these people any more real estate in my mind.
I’m Indian and in my country, until a few years ago, you could get steel utensils from door-to-door vendors in exchange for clothes. This barter system still exists in villages and some small towns. My grandmother, being the insane hoarder that she was, loved getting utensils in this manner. Utensils that no one else was allowed to touch, that she would never use and would only gather dust in her room.
Any time my stepmom or my dad tried to donate our old clothes to charity, she would throw a hissy fit. She’d collect all the clothes we weren’t going to wear anymore so she could exchange them for pots and pans. At times she would take it a step further and demand clothes that we were still going to wear. She would insist that they don’t fit us anymore, or some other argument to get us to hand them over.
Seriously, we had to sometimes fight her to keep our clothes. Oh but she never, I mean NEVER, gave away her own clothes. She only took garments from others, namely me, my dad, my stepmom, and my stepbrother. When I was around 21, I had just lost a lot of weight and needed new clothes. Yes, I lived with my parents. In India, you can’t afford to live independently unless you have a well-paying job and I was in college at that time.
So one day I went to a local store’s clearance sale and bought a bunch of new threads. I left them on my bed and went off to a friend’s place. When I returned a few hours later, my new clothes were gone! My dad, stepmom, and brother weren’t home, so I figured out instantly who must’ve taken them. I confronted the Grandmonster and asked what she’d done with my clothes.
She was sitting on her bed admiring her latest haul of pots and pans. Without even looking up, she told me my clothes were ugly and “too westernized”. And that she did the right thing by exchanging them for “something useful”. At that point, I lost it. I yelled, cursed at her, called her every name in the book. And she had the audacity to actually defend her actions.
That evening, there was a major showdown in our home. I was still livid and asked my dad exactly how long we were going to put up with her. My stepmother and I don’t get along, but when one of us was up against Grandmonster, the other always lent her support. This was no different, and my stepmother agreed with me wholeheartedly.
My dad told Grandmonster that she was now forbidden from entering my room without my prior permission. She started to fake cry and said we were all being so cruel to her. My dad later came to my room and said he would make it up to me and buy me new clothes. I, of course, was still livid. And I wasn’t about to let that witch have this victory. So I got my revenge.
My grandmother needed sleeping pills to fall asleep. She took them even during the day. So a few days later, I snuck into her room during her afternoon nap. I opened her “utensils trunk” (yes, she had a whole trunk full of them) and took out a whole bunch of her beloved pots, glasses, plates etc. I shut the lid quietly and exited. I went straight to an old-age shelter that was nearby.
I donated the utensils and earned the joy of giving and the taste of sweet, sweet revenge. I didn’t tell anyone what I had done and just waited for Grandmonster to discover her loss. Which she did, just a few days later. It happened in the evening. I was in the kitchen cooking dinner when I heard her ear-piercing wailings about how someone had pilfered from her utensils chest.
A satisfied smile spread across my face. My dad called me into Grandmonster’s room and asked if I knew anything about the missing utensils. I admitted that I had taken and donated them. Grandmonster looked like her head would explode. I calmly told her I had done the right thing because those utensils were “ugly” and that the shelter needed them more.
And clearly, if she could come into my room and take my things without asking, I could jolly well do the same! I think my dad was upset with me but really had nothing to say to me. He spent the next hour or so trying to calm his mother down. I slept so well that night. When Grandmonster passed a few years later, the first of her belongings that we got rid of were those utensils.
Web of Lies
I’ve always known my mom lies, has tantrums, and I knew about her Borderline Personality Disorder diagnosis years ago. But she fudged up a lie recently, and so I started asking questions. That’s when her web of lies unraveled. The first major lie I caught her in was her accusation that my grandfather, her father, mistreated her. Turns out, never happened.
He just made her angry one day. Today I learned something that has my mind and body numb. When I was around 3, I had a brother. I broke a bowl and my stepdad (total psycho) lost his mind, and my mom and him got in a fight. Because of it, my brother passed from shaken baby syndrome. Or at least, this is what I’ve been told my entire life.
I remember my brother. I remember breaking the bowl. I remember them fighting and me hiding under my bed during it. Only thing is, that wasn’t my brother. And the baby didn’t die. The truth is mind-blowing. The truth I found out today is that my mother had told me that our neighbor’s kid was my brother since the day that he was born.
She babysat for them daily so it makes sense why I have so many memories of him. I was told daily “hug your brother, kiss your brother, your brother is napping, brother is eating”. So little child me assumed she told the truth, and it was my brother. Turned out I broke a bowl, and then she and my stepdad started fighting. The child’s real mom showed up to pick him up.
She heard the fight and said they’d never watch the baby again. Like any good mom would. My mother decided to tell me my brother was dead. My aunt said after my mother had a miscarriage she lost her mind, but no one knows if she actually had a miscarriage because her story on that changed a lot too. All this came to light because I said pregnancy while taking care of toddlers is rough and my mom said she did it for five months.
I said what…only five months? Pregnancy is 40 weeks, and she had never mentioned any child being premature. Back then babies born at five months didn’t make it like they sometimes, very rarely, do now. So I called my aunt for the truth. Apparently, everyone hid it from me because they’re afraid of my mom. For good reason. She is a great liar and prone to violent outbursts, and if she sees you as “her enemy” she is capable of anything.
Who's to Blame?
We are officially done with my husband’s family. It is over. So, I watch my sister-in-law’s one-year-old child for basically nothing every day. I run a business full-time from home. I have a two-year-old daughter as well. They regularly don’t pick their daughter up on time. I have to take her to the doctor when she’s sick. It’s just a mess.
They have had CPS called on them for drinking problems, unsupervised children, etc. My husband’s whole family lives in the same house. His family is just…narcissistic? Anyway, I was informed this morning that one of my clients wants to do a video call tomorrow or Tuesday to talk about our upcoming project. I inform my sister-in-law that I will not be able to watch her child one of those days, but she is free to choose which one and the time.
She flips out and tells me she can’t take the day off of work, has no one to watch her, etc. I tell her she will have to figure it out; I have to take this call to pay for my daughter’s upcoming surgery (it’s minor, but it costs $2,000). Well, approximately five minutes later my father-in-law calls my husband, yelling. My husband works for my business too, so he was home.
He complains that we didn’t give them enough notice. My husband informs him that we just found out this morning and that this client is quite major. The family’s group text starts blowing up with family members yelling at me. So I did it. I told them I wasn’t going to raise their child anymore. Calling my husband and yelling while he is at work is unacceptable behavior. That’s when things really took off.
My mother-in-law tells me she is so disappointed in all of this. I informed her that I was quite disappointed in her favoritism. She pays for all her other children’s stuff, but has never given us a cent; she regularly misses my husband’s events; etc. Apparently, she blames me for everything because I spend too much time with my family (???).
I tell her that I make a concerted effort to spend equal time with both families even though she works and drinks constantly. Even when we are over there, she doesn’t interact with her granddaughter (or son) at all. And then I laid it on her: “You’re the one that canceled her first birthday party at the last minute. You’re the one that doesn’t even know her favorite color. You’re the one that didn’t know she cried when her grandfather stumbled into the vacation house, tipsy, because she was scared”.
And that is the end of that, I hope.
Too Bad, So Sad
So I inherited my dad’s car, and my sister had a cow and is now trying to take it. She sent me this text: “Don’t try to take dad’s car out of town. I’m on my way to DMV to make sure that the car stays in dad’s name or else I’ll change it back to dad’s name with the attorney’s paperwork. If you leave, you go to jail for stolen property”.
Too bad so sad, it’s already in my name and I left for Texas. Take that Satan.
The First One in My Family
I am a first-generation college graduate. I recently graduated with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and a minor in mathematics. I managed to get an entry-level engineering position where my employer will fully pay for my MS in Mechanical Engineering. The effect this had on my family shocked me. They are now all berating me by saying “it isn’t like you’re a surgeon or a dentist”.
Engineering is my passion; I don’t want to be a surgeon or a dentist. And none of them have even been to college. I want to continue graduate education in this field and have a career doing real research and development. It’s crushing my self-esteem and is making me feel like I’m not doing anything with my life, or that I got an easy degree that literally anyone could get.
We didn’t have a traditional wedding as we couldn’t afford it. Besides that, my parents would not give us any money. I knew they wouldn’t but gave it a shot since I was the first child to get married. We also lived five states away at the time. We settled on a date two months out and I called my parents to let them know about the news.
Me: I just wanted to tell you that we are going to get married at the courthouse on that Friday’s date. Mother: Ok. Sounds good. Father: That won’t work. Pick another date. Me: …Well, we already paid and booked it. There is a fee to change it. Father: Well, deer season starts on that Monday. I am not missing opening day because you can’t be reasonable.
Me: I am not changing the date because deer season is more important to you than me. You can fly in on Thursday and leave Saturday and still have plenty of time to be ready for Monday Father: No. You are just doing this so I can’t go hunting. You are being so selfish to want to waste my hunting money on you. Yes, he seriously said this.
Me: Ok, dad. Your deer season is way more important than watching me get married. I do not want you there. I want my day to be happy and with you there it won’t be. I will mark you down that you won’t be here. Mom, will you, brother and sister come? Mother: Your sister will, but your brother is going to hunt with your father. Me: sounds great. Hangs up.
“Father” did not come. I gave myself away. My mom and sister came. They were so happy for me. The best part was that my “father” and brother did not get one deer that season! I laughed until I cried and my sides hurt.
She's Not Asking, She's Telling
I have misaligned hips, causing a lot of pain whenever I walk for a distance without the assistance of a wheelchair or cane. I usually only use the cane when I’m going to the mall with my friends since it is annoying to maneuver in the wheelchair, but I much prefer the chair since it allows for a pillow on my bad hip. This brings me to the disaster that was yesterday.
I’m going to my mom’s house this weekend. She called me to explain that my stepsister, who is about my age at 18, has torn her ACL and needs to use my wheelchair after her surgery. I don’t have any malice toward my step-siblings, but I’ve only met them a handful of times. The issue I have is that this weekend is the same day that a group of friends and I are going on a colonial tour around the city for my birthday.
When I asked if she could just ask the doctor for one or crutches for that matter, mom said it would come out of pocket since her insurance won’t cover it. I told her that my stepsister can have my cane, but I’m going to need my wheelchair since the tour was a whole day of walking. Mom got annoyed and started to sigh. I still can’t believe the “ultimatum” she gave me.
She said that I can use the cane, but the wheelchair was going to my stepsister. Or I could reschedule for another weekend—which would most likely mean never going as there aren’t any refunds nor enough money to pay for another ticket that I had to pay with my own money. I said the last part was fine (seeing as it was on my birthday weekend and not on the day) but she would have to pay for our tickets for us to go again.
She scoffed and said that it would cost more than buying a pair of crutches. I tried to explain that it would still be cheaper than buying a new wheelchair like mine. But she just kept shutting me down, saying that my stepsister will be getting the wheelchair for the weekend and for me to make do with the cane. The argument ended with “I’m not asking, I’m telling” and her hanging up on me without saying another word.
I admit that I was feeling a little bit spiteful after this. So I came up with a way to get her back. The other day I asked my friend if I could store my wheelchair in the back of her trunk for the trip. After all, I was planning on just going to her house after the trip even before she called. Me playing dumb is the best plan, I’m going to say I just forgot or something.
It didn’t help my mood that when I was looking up prices for crutches, the prices that she was looking at were for brand new ones rather than going on second-hand sites for ones a quarter of the price. When I tried to screenshot some of them and send them to her, she simply replayed the “we already have the wheelchair so it’s fine”. Yeah, MY wheelchair. And no, you don’t.
I feel like a jerk for planning on hiding my chair but this will be the first time in a few years that I’m actually celebrating my birthday and I don’t want to spend the whole time either in pain or resenting my stepsister for making me lose a lump sum of money I had to work overtime for. Either way, I’m going to be agitated because my mom won’t listen to any of my suggestions or see things from my point of view.
The Perfect Response
I had a pet kitten when I was roughly nine years old that we only had for a month. My parents got her from a pet store with bowls, food, etc. And one day I come home from school and she was gone. They said they got tired of buying stuff for her, and that she was smelly and so they gave it away. But here’s the worst part. I remember them buying her because I was lonely and wanted a friend.
Then it happened AGAIN. The second time, I was a bit older, I’ll say 12-13ish. Well, they had a bunch of turtles and they gave those away after a year or so. They didn’t even do much so I’ll never understand why my parents felt they were a burden. I was the one in charge of cleaning their water and feeding them. I’d let them roam the house and put them back afterward.
They were happy. And I liked decorating their containers to make them look “tropical”. Again, one day I come home and they’re gone. The third time, we had a hamster. I was about 17? It was a gift given to my brother. But he didn’t really like it and as such ignored and neglected the poor thing. He didn’t even bother to name it so I did. I named it and went out and bought it food and a rolly ball thing he can get inside of to roam the house.
A week goes by and my parents notice me taking care of it. My mom tells me, “you know why he doesn’t want that thing right?” I say I don’t know and she goes “his ex-girlfriend gave him that thing. He probably gets sad every time he sees it too, because it reminds him of his ex-girlfriend”. I tell her, “he saw me playing with it and said it’s cool that I want it. He seems fine to me”.
She just gave me this mad look and goes “we’re getting rid of it because we don’t want him to be reminded of his ex for no reason”. A few days later, the hamster was gone. It was a very affectionate little thing too and used to come to me when I called for it. My dad used to make fun when I called for it and to this day when he feels like being a total jerk he will mimic my voice and try “calling for the hamster”.
The worst part of it all was that the only pets that lasted long (more than a few months) were my mom’s pets. She had this parrot for years and she made it loud and clear that the obnoxious loud bird was HER pet. She would buy it toys and perches on the walls for it. But she would also tell me I needed to clean the cage for her. So one day, it was summer and I opened her cage.
That idiot bird flew right out one of the open windows (my mom was cleaning the floors and airing things out). My mom ran outside then came back in and screamed her head off at me and demanded I buy her a new parrot immediately even though those things are $500+ and I was a broke college student taking out loans to make ends meet. But I had the perfect response.
I told her “I’ll buy you a parrot when you give me back my kitten, my turtles, and my hamster”. She said I was crazy, whined some more, but she never brought up her parrot again after that.
My dad finally got what he deserved in court today. I’m an adult now but he “kept his child support payments hostage” so to speak since I cut ties with him at 15 for his awful behavior. He now owes a grand total of $20,736. The court found him to be so untrustworthy that they have ordered that the amount come directly out of his paycheck each month until the debt is paid.
My next two years of college will be free thanks to him. See you never, Tom! I also just found out through some less awful family members that my dad’s pregnant wife is NOT happy with the fact that he is now 20k in the hole with a baby on the way and she is seriously considering divorce. If she goes through with it, he will have to pay child support all over again for another 18 years. I am guffawing.
What's In a Name?
My wife is seven months pregnant, and my brother’s girlfriend is four months. The other day I made a joke about “claiming” a baby name. It was just a reference to a game my brother and I played as kids, where we pointed at random stuff and said “I claim it” and the objective was to build the coolest inventory. The girlfriend knew about the game and got upset because my joke had accidentally “claimed” her father’s name.
We assured her it was a joke and we wouldn’t be using the name, but she was really upset. This wasn’t the hill to go out on so I went and apologized to the girlfriend’s standards—a full-on apology where I said that I messed up, promised not to make the joke again, and said I wouldn’t make references she didn’t get after this. But then it got completely deranged.
She then said, for her own peace of mind, that she needed to see our list of baby name ideas to prove that we weren’t choosing her father’s name. I thought that was already a bit much, but my wife pretty much said “look, the worst is over, at this stage what’s the harm of just showing her the list?” I agreed so we texted my brother the list of potential baby names.
We had two options for first names, and our chosen middle name, which was a family name from my wife’s family that both her brother and grandfather have. He then calls me and says that “she thinks the middle name is too close to her father’s. She says is there anything else you can use?” I explain the significance of the name to both of them over the phone and it’s what we’re using.
They say that it’s too close and we need to pick another name. I then, sarcastically, say “and do we have your approval for our first names?” to which the girlfriend responds “well, actually…” and goes on to tell me that they really like one of our two choices (the one we were leaning more towards) and ask if we can use our other option so they can have the one they like.
It’s a gender-neutral name and not only do they not know the gender of the child she’s currently carrying but they plan to have more children. I love my brother, I really do, but this is ridiculous. I have to put my foot down, I know, but we’re really close and I don’t want to completely screw up our relationship by ticking off his pregnant girlfriend. But, man.
A Weight Off My Shoulders
My husband is a misogynist and I am done shoving his behavior under the rug. A few weeks ago, he kept making comments about my weight. Well last night, I snapped. He wanted to talk politics. He only ever wants to talk about politics when he wants to fight with me. He out of NOWHERE looks at me and says, “Women aren’t elected into positions of power because they can’t make the tough decisions. Pre-menopausal women are too moody. And women all together as a whole just aren’t as intelligent as men.”
I scoffed and said, “That’s such a cop-out to stop women from being in positions of power. Men are just as hormonal and moody as women. You DO know that women mature faster mentally than men do, right? And that women have an easier time identifying and correcting their negative emotions?” Him: “Well, I’m a numbers guy. I like to look at the facts. Unlike you who just spouts off garbage she knows absolutely nothing about and demands that she is right. I’m going to look up some FACTS for you right now”.
Me: “Great. I want to hear articles written by actual doctors.” Him: “Don’t talk to me like I’m stupid. I actually get my news from reputable sources.” He then spent TEN MINUTES trying to find a scientific article that supported his opinion. When he found one that he thought supported his opinion he very loudly started quoting it. Then came the best part.
He then immediately started trailing off when it started disproving his thoughts. Me: “So, what you’re really trying to say is that the ‘garbage’ I was spouting was actually fact. I know it was fact because I studied psychology in college. So, AGAIN. Saying women are too hormonal to be in positions of power is an excuse that men made in order to keep us oppressed.”
Him: “You’re literally so stupid.” Me: “Keep deflecting because you know you’re losing the argument.” I got up and grabbed my college textbooks and notes that I have stored on a bookshelf. I set them next to him. Me: “Two things. Don’t spout off garbage that you know nothing about and demand that you are right without looking at the facts. AND don’t be a hypocrite. It’s unbecoming and makes you look stupid when you are trying to prove a point.”
Him: “What’s all of this?” Me: “My textbooks and notes from college. Read them thoroughly, particularly the notes so that the next time you want to come after me about a topic that I am clearly more educated about, you’ll know how to properly base your argument. So much for men being more intelligent than women. This is why I’m a feminist. This is why I’m leaving you.”
I walked out of the room and went to bed. I had never slept so well in my life. I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders.
Mi Casa Es Tu Casa
My dad and I are currently on our way to a big Mexican birthday party and he likes to talk about ol’ back-in-the-day stories. Now I’ve heard each of these a few times over but got a new one I never heard about. I wasn’t born yet in this story and my older brother was only a few years old. My dad was freshly dating my mom. My mom and brother were living at my grandma’s house, my dad’s mother-in-law.
My mom called my dad crying because the mother-in-law was taking over my brother’s milestone birthday party. Nothing was how my mom wanted it: Decorations, food, and worst, who was invited. Specifically, awful family members planned to show up who hadn’t spoken a kind word to my mom since she became a “sinful” single mother with no husband.
My mom tried pleading to her mother not to let these horrible people crash her party and was given the title line. The answer was vicious. “You can’t tell me who I can’t invite to my own house. These are my family members. They are always welcome in my house”. So my mom called my dad crying, dreading this party and knowing she’s going to be insulted in front of her own son.
My mom kept trying to think of ways to stop these people from showing up but my dad shut that down. His words mirrored his mother-in-law—that’s her house and you have to follow her rules. But then my dad followed this with, “Do you want me to fix this?” And my mom agreed. So my dad made a bunch of calls and organized a pizza party in less than 12 hours.
All of his cousins brought their kids, many my brother’s age. It was a big, fun thing. My parents never told my grandma about the change of plans. She threw her party her way with her guest list and no birthday boy. My mom and brother came home late in the evening and the decorations were still up. My grandma was so angry and demanded to know where she had been.
My mom said her new boyfriend stressed the importance of respecting her mother’s rules so they simply took the party elsewhere. To this day my dad still stresses the importance of respect and rules. He never argues or tells someone they are doing things wrong. But if he sees something he doesn’t like he either never shows up, or leaves early and distances himself from the nonsense.
I think I am at a breaking point with my mother. 10 weeks ago, my husband and I had a baby. She is the first grandchild on both sides of the family. My in-laws live down the street and are so helpful and wonderful. They see our daughter a lot but also respect boundaries. They are wonderful and I would be lost without them. My mother is single and lives alone in another state three hours away.
She came up when my daughter was born and stayed for a week at our house while the baby was in the NICU. Aside from being unhelpful and leaving our house a mess, during this time she made several comments about my postpartum physical appearance, including that my long hair “made her nauseous”. I wanted to scream. I said she had no right to comment on my physical appearance, especially after just delivering a baby, and left the room.
She also was fixated on me sending proper thank you notes for all of the baby gifts we had received and dragged me to a stationary store the day after I came home from the hospital to pick out proper stationery. Mind you, I was still in a lot of pain and it hurt to walk, but…heaven forbid her friends would think I was rude if I didn’t send the notes out ASAP.
On her second trip back, our daughter was three weeks old. Again, she made a comment about my hair, stating that it reminded her of the movie Gray Gardens (but they wear kerchiefs? I digress). Again I reminded her that she has no right to comment on my physical appearance. I even reminded her that her mother did this to her when she was growing up, and she hated it, and now she is doing the same to me.
I never quite got an “I’m sorry” from my mother but she acknowledged it hurt me. While she’s been home, she repeatedly demands multiple videos and pictures of my daughter, several times a day, so she can send mass texts to our entire family. When I don’t send them quickly enough, or when she doesn’t like the ones I send (spoiler alert: all the time), she guilt trips me.
She starts saying things like “how dare you do this to your grandmother, the baby is all she is living for!” and “[The in-laws] are so close, and I feel like I’m so far away! I miss her soooo much!” A few weeks ago my mother booked her third trip to visit. A few days ago, I get a text saying, “While I am here, I will be happy to watch the baby while you get your hair/nails done and clean yourself up”.
I responded, “I know you mean well and have good intentions, but do you realize this is the third time you’ve made a comment on my physical appearance?” Reader, she LOST HER MIND. I reminded her of the past two incidents, and she said I’m being “too sensitive” and “that was a long time ago,” and she feels like she’s “walking on eggshells around me”.
I said that I knew she meant well but it hurt my feelings and to please refrain from commenting on my physical appearance. Her response? OK, I’M NOT COMING. Yesterday she officially canceled her flight. Honestly, mom? GOOD. We don’t want you to come. But at the same time, she can’t 1) not come to see her granddaughter, and then 2) complain how she’s so left out and misses her. YOU CAN’T HAVE IT BOTH WAYS.
Meanwhile, my in-laws are so wonderful and helpful, I am just embarrassed that my husband has to put up with my mom’s behavior. I’m dealing with a new baby and I’m exhausted, and on top of this, I have to deal with my mother acting like a child? I just can’t. She won’t go to therapy and I think I’m just grieving at the fact that this relationship won’t get any better, especially as my daughter gets older.
Get the Memo?
So, I have a narcissistic sister who my mother groomed to be the golden child. She has to constantly be the center of attention. She’s one of those people who can’t be bothered doing things that are boring or icky, and lives for attention. Her need for attention often involves the way she dresses, meaning often objectively “inappropriate”.
As in, she’ll wear very light beige to weddings. A funeral for an elderly relative came with a request to wear traditional mourning colors (black, navy, grey) for a rosary service in a Catholic Church, and she showed up in a lime green short dress. “People expect me to look attractive”. I have numerous stories on that front, just trust me on it.
My mom refused to address this throughout the years, so it’s a fact of life. I just sort of expect it. Anyway, another major narcissist in the family was being presented with an award from the state government at the capitol, several hours away. It was a huge honor and a very conservative organization. We were sent multiple copies of a strict protocol on dressing for the event, which was basically business evening dress of suits in blue, black, grey or burgundy.
You were supposed to wear low heel shoes and no flashy jewelry. Media would be present, we could not be late, you needed your invitation to enter, there were pointers on who you can approach, etc. The day of, I calculated the drive time and everyone loaded in the vehicle. My sister as usual wasn’t ready. My mom was making excuses, also as usual.
I told her we were leaving in five minutes with whomever was in the car because if we were late, we could not attend the reception. My mom ran inside and told my sister I was being “difficult” and to hurry up. She came down the steps with my mom. I saw what she was wearing and groaned. I told everyone else in the car to not say anything because if we had to wait for her to change, we would be late and it would just be a fight and not worth it.
I figured if it was a huge issue, they would stop her at the door. I knew the relative getting the award would be angry but I figured it was better that only one of us was in trouble rather than all of us being late. She had on a tropical sundress in bright turquoise with palm trees and parrots on it and strappy sandals—something you would wear to a barbecue.
She had on big beachy jewelry. Everyone in the vehicle was wearing a black suit with black pumps. No one said a word and I could see that my sister was angry that no one commented on how cute she looked. We arrived with about two minutes to spare. We walked into the reception and it was 100 people standing in small groups talking.
We were greeted by the head official and my sister entered last. Probably half the room turned and stared. There was an awkward silence and then whispering. Every single person was wearing a dark suit except one elderly lady who wore a dark purple dress. From across the room, I see the relative that is being honored with a “what the heck” look on his face.
I just shrugged. My sister messed up bad. She knew it too; she spent the entire evening in the restroom. The relative lost their mind, and my mom tried to blame me because somehow I did not give my sister enough time to get dressed? Of course, my relative pointed out that if she had time to put on a sundress, she had time to put on a black skirt and button-down blouse.
A month later, my mom was telling relatives I embarrassed the family because I didn’t make my sister go in and change, even though everyone got the same email. This is what happens in a nasty family.
Just One Drink
I do not drink. It is not a personal choice; it’s because it started to make me sick in my early 20s. It got gradually worse and in the end, one sip of anything gave me stomach cramps and hives lasting a week and I ended up in hospital. I had a gastroscopy and some tests. Nothing wrong was found with my stomach but apparently, my bloodwork was off the charts.
The doctor said there was a possibility it could end up in anaphylactic shock if I drink again. So I thought meh, no big deal, guess I’m not drinking ever again. Well turns out it’s a massive deal for my family. I thought simply saying no thank you when offered a drink would be enough. I did tell them it makes me sick, but they said to stop making stuff up.
In my family, if you are not drinking you are not being “social”. I’ve never been much of a drinker even when I could drink, but for them, it’s normal to empty 3-5 bottles of the hard stuff and 4-6 bottles of vino as a group of 10 in one afternoon. The last time I saw my family, we were all sitting in my aunt’s garden and the usual started: Aunt: What do you want to drink?
Me: Water, please. Aunt: Ahh don’t be silly, your husband isn’t here, what do you want to drink? Me: Water please Aunt: Are you pregnant? Me: No, I’m not, can I just have water, please. Aunt: Your husband doesn’t allow you to drink? Me: What? He doesn’t care. I just don’t want any. Can I just have water please? Aunt: Did you drive here?
Me: No, I walked. Still, I don’t want to drink. Aunt: Alright I’ll bring you some water. A few moments later she put a glass of clear liquid in front of me and said here you go. I picked up the glass, and it was cold. Great, it was a hot day. I took a gulp and swallowed—before I realized the horrible truth. It wasn’t water. I asked her what is that!?
She shrugged and said “Cinzano and tonic” and winked at me! I sat there in bewilderment, not sure what to do or say, so I just stopped talking, trying to take in what just happened. I started to feel unwell soon so I made my excuses and left. I spent the night throwing up, sweating, and shivering, but thankfully I felt ok in the morning and didn’t have to go to the hospital.
Now, I am going back to my hometown for the first time in two years. Please tell me, am I being silly when I don’t want to see this aunt ever again? I feel like I’ve been violated in some way but cannot quite put my finger on it. Am I making mountains out of molehills? Am I being too sensitive?
The Baby of the Family
My husband and I have been together for eight going on nine years, and married for a year and a half. Ever since we got married, his sisters have been an absolute nightmare. They always try to sabotage my plans with my family. They take over family vacations. His sisters are passive-aggressive and they make backhanded comments. They make him feel guilty over the stupidest things.
My husband is the youngest and they treat him like a know-nothing twit, but at the same time place responsibility on him that shouldn’t be his in the first place. Today was the last straw. They’re planning a surprise birthday for their dad and they gave us the option of choosing between two weekends. I told him to tell them no to one weekend because it’s my mom’s birthday.
I have a whole day planned. He didn’t say “no” exactly, he just said it’s my mom’s birthday on weekend number two. She took it as a yes and planned for weekend number two, and then said their mom had asked for that day off already. This was all in the span of three hours at 8 pm. My husband told me and I was furious that she would do that after he had already said it was my mom’s birthday.
He told her it’s not going to work and she tried to guilt him because he never said no straight up, and didn’t communicate well enough. Excuse me! If he said I have surgery that day, would she have taken that as a yes as well? She’s only saying that because she’s petty and trying to be a witch. She tried to make my husband feel guilty for not wanting to go to his father’s birthday.
He asked her why she would give us the option of choosing between two dates if she had clearly already planned on doing it on a specific date. But still trying to compromise, he told her Sunday of weekend number two would work out better for us since my mom’s birthday is Saturday. Nope. She said that wouldn’t work, even though everyone in the family has weekends off and my mother-in-law also requested to have that Sunday off.
She told him to tell me and my family that he won’t be attending my mom’s birthday and that I should just celebrate it with my mom alone and he should celebrate it with his dad alone. And to add insult to injury she said he still needs to pitch in with money for the party regardless of whether he’s going or not. I finally told him that his sister was a witch, and I’m sorry if he can’t see how petty and vicious she is, but she is.
She only does things because she thinks they’ll create a rift in our marriage or just to get to me.
Maid of Horror
I am getting married in about two months. I sent out my wedding invitations recently and at the bottom, it says “ADULTS ONLY. NO EXCEPTIONS”. First, let me say that I love kids. But my fiancé and I made the decision to not allow kids/babies to our ceremony because they get bored, cry, won’t sit still, have tantrums, and I just don’t want that to happen during our wedding.
We’re also going to have an open bar, and I don’t particularly want a bunch of drinking adults around my little cousins or my friends’ children. But this backfired almost immediately. My cousin Sam texted me last night saying: “So you’re seriously telling me I cannot bring my son to your wedding”? To which I said…yes. I really wasn’t expecting her next response.
Sam responds: “Then I can’t come and that kills me. I just want you to know how badly I want to be there and I have dreamt my entire life of standing next to you at your wedding. But I just can’t want to be somewhere with someone who doesn’t want the other half of my heart there”. She’s trying to guilt-trip me into letting her bring her son.
Saying things like “and I’ve confided in my best friends and they say it’s your wedding it’s your right to have it the way you want, but yeah. I just want you to know it’s not vengeance when I don’t come. I’ll probably cry the entire day”. I suggested that she take her son (he’s seven) to his friend’s house for a few hours so that she can attend.
She says “I can’t just tell him no and leave him somewhere. I’m not strong enough to do that to his sensitive little heart. I could, if he wasn’t so aware and sensitive. It would hurt him too much. He’s too smart to manipulate”. Um. I’m not asking her to manipulate her son. I’m asking that she be an adult and tell him he can’t come and that children aren’t allowed to attend. But there’s something else at play here.
Not to mention, she’s angry that I didn’t choose her to be my Maid of Honor. I chose my stepsister. While on the phone, Sam said “I don’t mean any offense by this, but SCREW HER”. She’s literally only mad about this because my dad cheated on my mom 10 years ago and married the woman he cheated with. She hates my sister because she hates my stepmom.
I ended up being on the phone with her for half an hour talking to her about this. With her constantly telling me “I’m trying to get sober, so I just wanted to talk to you and tell you how I feel”. Which to me sounds like she’s going to blame me if I still tell her no, and she decides to fall off the wagon. We ended the phone call with her saying “Will you just promise me one thing, even if it’s a lie? Will you just promise me that you’ll consider it, and that you’ll talk to your fiancé about it”?
So I told her yes, that I’d consider it and talk to him about it. And I did. I talked to him, and I’m not changing my mind.
Not My Responsibility
You’re going to need a little backstory. I have two sisters and a brother, and one of my sisters is the most dumpster fire person I’ve ever met. I’d like to say she wasn’t always this way, but now looking back, there’s always been a sense of entitlement with her that I could never quite understand. My sister is three years older than me.
We lost our mom very young. I was five. We were raised by my father. Now, my sister is not my full sister. We share the same mom, not the same dad. However, my father met our mom when she was pregnant with my sister, adopted her right away, and her real father never wanted a relationship with her and signed over parental rights immediately.
We didn’t find that out until right before my mom passed, though. I guess she didn’t want to die without telling her. Makes sense. Anyway, my sister was a runaway. It started young. Every time she’d get in trouble—she’d run. And it wasn’t that my dad was strict, quite the opposite. He yelled a lot, but we never got hit, we never even got grounded.
We of course had to help out around the house because he worked midnights, but overall, he was a decent enough parent. He never treated my sister any differently. Never made it seem like she wasn’t his child. Heck, he was the only one there when she took her first steps. But she started getting interested in boys, bad boys that were in lock up, normal teenage rebellion on her part.
The first time she ran away she ended up going to her real father’s house. My dad tried to hide it, but I could see how hurt he was. She kept running away, and she’d come back for a month or two, then leave again. Sometimes for a few days, sometimes a few weeks. Sometimes months. Months of not knowing where she was. My dad would follow any lead he had.
We’d be out well past dark almost every night trying to find her. I heard him crying a lot. And then the big change hit. She got pregnant at 18 and had the baby at 19. She moved back in, and my dad paid for everything until the kid was nearly three. At that point, he told her she had to get a job. Instead, she moved out with a man who paid for everything and took care of her kid.
She didn’t love him, and she made that obvious. They fought all the time. He got her pregnant, but dude only stays for so long before he finds someone who actually does love him and does want to be with him. He buys my sister a trailer, and she insists she will get a job now. She lives down the street from me, we offer to drive her places (she doesn’t have a license), and we offer to watch her kids for free.
We offer to let her come over and use our Wi-Fi. For months she comes over and uses the Wi-Fi, but doesn’t fill out applications for jobs. She downloads movies instead. I ask her all the time: Did you pay rent this month? Did you feed your cat? I had two cats and was always offering her litter and food. She always said she was fine.
Months go by. She tells me she’s getting evicted in three days. She had stopped letting me in her house for about 3-4 months. Anyway, I help her move her stuff out. Then I find out what’s really been happening. She hadn’t been feeding her cat. He’s SKIN and BONES. There was nothing left of this cat. There are Cheerios in its food dish.
I take it home. I rename him. The vet says another 2-3 weeks he would have starved. He puts on 14 lbs within a year. He’s happy and healthy now. She still tells people I kidnapped her cat. Then she meets another guy, and this guy has a rap sheet. He’s been behind bars for big time things. He makes her give her daughter (from the guy she never loved) to the girl’s father.
He still has her. She stops contacting her daughter. Then it took an even darker turn. I get worried about her because she starts posting some bizarre things on Facebook and not answering my calls. Things that are not her. Things that sound like she’s being forced to write these humiliating posts about how awful she is.
I ask for a welfare check on her. She blocks me and I don’t hear from her for over a year. Our grandmother passes away, and I try to get her to go see her. She makes up some excuse and doesn’t talk to any of us until three months later when my family held a service. My grandma didn’t want a funeral; she wanted a party after people had a chance to grieve properly.
She has a kid by this bad guy now. Getting ready for the party, she has to pin her shirt to her bra because her shoulders are showing and he says she looks inappropriate. I get her alone, and she says she’s happy. I tell her she can leave if she wants to. She doesn’t. I try to talk to the guy for a little bit, and things seem okay. His parents are great, fantastic really considering their son.
But, they ask my sister and the boyfriend to sign over rights to their new baby to them, in exchange that they will buy them a house. They agree. They get pregnant again to replace that child, and they don’t tell me until the day she goes into labor. I’d been talking to her every few weeks at this point. She never mentioned it to me even once.
I give her $3,000 when they move to help them get the kids their new bedrooms as she’s seeing her daughter again and they still have their first child and now this new kid. Neither her nor her boyfriend work. Of course not. Two months later, she asks me for $350 but I am hurting for money and I can’t give it to her. I tell her I can in a few weeks when I get a bonus. More unsettling truths come out.
She tells me her power is shut off and this guy’s parents took the kids. I still can’t help her. She tells me never to call her again, that I’m a bad sister and an awful aunt. That I’m pathetic and needy. She hits all the low blows. I just said okay, let me know if you change your mind. She blocks me. She contacts me two days later and her story has changed.
She needs $125 for a hotel room. I tell her to just stay at her house without power, as the kids aren’t with her and it’s not hot or cold. She then says her house was broken into. Every time I tell her no, there’s a new story as to why she needs this money. I send her $40 for food. I then find out through a mutual friend that they are selling their newly acquired home (18k home) for $5,000.
They are rehoming their dog for a fee. I am blocked from seeing these posts. The comments indicate she has sold both of them. I block her because I don’t want to confront her. What’s the point? She’s just going to lie. Whatever the real reason is, she’s not going to tell me. At this point she has not spoken to 90% of the family in months, my grandma’s funeral being the only time, and before that, it’s been years.
She starts messaging all of them for money. She tells them I’m a liar because I warned them what was going on. She says she’s sleeping under a bridge now. They refuse to go to a shelter because they will get split up. My parents offer to take her kids. My parents offer to let her move in, but jailbird can’t come. She chooses the so-called bridge.
My parents told me yesterday that they got custody of her first child. I see her second child quite regularly, as the father and I have a great relationship, but she hasn’t spoken to her daughter for months. I feel guilty for not doing more to help her, at the same time I feel like I have officially reached my end with her. There is nothing more I can do.
Thrown Under the Bus
In October my fiancé’s dad, grandpa, grandma, aunt, and cousin schemed to take my brand new all-terrain tires off of my Jeep while we were out of town. I told them that they had to give them back ASAP or I was filing charges. They didn’t, but they didn’t know who they were dealing with. I kept my word and reported my tires as stolen.
Well, we recently went to his company’s Christmas party and while we were there, his dad told him that I was not invited to Christmas or any family functions “as a result of my actions”. I told my fiancé that they best cough up my tires soon because I’m in the midst of preparing to sue. I don’t like his family, but we used to get along until this began.
Now I just want to go off on them. I want to text his grandpa and tell them that if they don’t want me at Christmas, then I don’t want them at our wedding. Is that too harsh? We moved up here so he could be closer to his family, but they’ve exiled me because I continue to fight back over my property. Should I continue to plan my wedding and leave out half of my intended guests because of tires?
I genuinely never want to see them again. They have thrown me under the bus, tried to get him to leave me, started all of this over tires when they could’ve just used the ones they bought for themselves in the first place.
My sister and I haven’t been on speaking terms due to long-term issues. Long story short, she has anger issues, serious jealousy problems, and my mom enabled her. When she found out I was pregnant she did a complete 180 largely due to a severe case of baby rabies. She basically tried to convince me to move back home, then when that didn’t work she tried to convince my husband for us to move back home.
She’s been largely overbearing trying to control everything about the child. So into today: I’ve had a rough couple of days between insomnia, depression due to insomnia, and just a state of stagnation while waiting for things to happen so I can finish set things for my baby. What this ultimately meant was I had no time for her garbage.
So she calls me and asks about “her baby”. I just snapped at her. I was like “Oh, I didn’t realize you’d conceived and were currently expecting”. She expressed dissatisfaction at my response and then eventually amended it to “our baby”, to which I responded well unless I was mistaken you weren’t in the room when she was conceived. Eventually, she just had to drop the baby talk because she realized she was getting nowhere fast.
Still Acting Like a Child
Two years ago, I got married. It was a casual wedding; we had it up north at my grandparents’ ranch and for the most part, it was nice. Except for the fact that my father can’t let go of a divorce that happened 20 years ago and has no idea how to act civil. My parents got divorced 20 years ago, my mom was getting tired of him being a jerk and left him.
He still has not gotten over it and always has something to say about my mother on Facebook and in person. A week before the wedding, my father sent me this long text message saying he didn’t want my mother to “ruin his childhood home with her presence” and that “her and her family are not welcome at the wedding”. He also added that because his parents own the house, he has reason to exclude my mom’s side from the wedding.
I had to remind this man that A) She is my mother, she is allowed at my wedding, B) I’m not excluding my grandparents, aunts, and cousins from my wedding because you’re petty, and C) You don’t live in that house anymore, it’s not your wedding, and if you don’t like it you don’t have to come. He didn’t like my answer, so he cried to my grandparents.
He said that they were “betraying him” by having the wedding at their house. I was delighted by their reply. My grandparents told him he should stop acting like a child and attend his own son’s wedding. So he pouted about it and decided to go. On the day of the wedding, we picked separate seats for the two of them so my dad didn’t throw a tantrum over having to sit next to my mom.
The ceremony went fine without any interruptions from him…and then it turned into a nightmare. Because then we had the reception. Jesus. Christ. This. Man. My mother still talks to my dad’s side of the family since my maternal grandmother and paternal grandfather were close friends growing up. There is no awkwardness or tension between both sides of my family…except for my father.
Everything’s going well at the reception, my wife and I are just vibing at the table with our food and my uncle and my mother are at the table with us. And then my father comes over. First, he asks my uncle “what the heck is he doing at the table”. My uncle shrugs and says that he’s just having a conversation with people and not “sulking in the corner because he’s bitter”.
My father tells him that my mother isn’t allowed to interact with his family and he should have pushed her away when she approached him. My uncle told him that he’s an adult and he can do whatever he wants. This only made it escalate that much further.
My father then tells my mom that she needs to leave and that “he won’t allow her in his presence”. My mom just stares at him and goes back to her conversation. He yells at her to leave louder and she continues to ignore him. My uncle tells him to screw off, and my dad tells him that if he doesn’t tell “that witch” to go away that he’ll flip the table over.
I obviously don’t want him to do that, so I tell him “Dad, since you obviously can’t be civil at your own son’s wedding, I’m going to ask you to leave”. He huffed and told me that America is a free country and that he had every right to stay. So, my uncle got up from his seat, grabbed his arm, and dragged him out of the tent before telling him that if he decided to come back the authorities would be called.
The next day he sent me a long message demanding an apology from ME and saying that what I did humiliated him in front of the entire family. I told him that he humiliated himself because he’s petty and can’t let go of a divorce that happened 20 years ago. C’mon man, you’re 56 years old and you’re acting like a child, get a grip on yourself.
My fiancée and I decided on a casual wedding, not extremely fancy but also not sweatpants and sweatshirts, you know what I mean? My mother-in-law decided to go dress shopping the other day and she chose a literal bridal dress…which is…not so great. We’d be fine if it was maybe a short dress or a cream or off-white color, but this was a full-on wedding dress, train, and everything.
My fiancée asked her if she could get a dress that wasn’t a bridal gown and just choose one of her own? Or something that doesn’t make it look like she’s getting married? Which is funny considering she just went in what she slept in for her own wedding. She threw a hissy fit, calling my fiancé an entitled witch, saying that she could wear whatever she wanted and that my fiancée shouldn’t stop her.
She said that she’s the adult and my fiancée is the child (you’re both grown women, sit down). My fiancée told her to screw off and that she doesn’t need to worry about the dress because she’s no longer invited! She just responded with another insult and blocked my fiancée before running off to my father-in-law and telling him what happened.
My fiancée asked him if he’d still come to the wedding if his wife wasn’t there and he said “that’s fine, there’ll be less complaining anyways”.
I Just Can't Win
So long story short, after I graduated college I moved back home with my parents and in less than a year I gained like 50+ lbs and spiraled into a terrible depression. I basically lay in bed and ate and slept all day and all night. My parents would make fun of me for “getting fat” and call me lazy and made it nearly impossible for me to muster the motivation to get up and take care of myself.
Luckily, I eventually found a job and started getting out of the house, but I still couldn’t lose the weight I gained no matter how hard I tried to diet and exercise because I couldn’t stop eating my feelings. Well, I moved out and lost a ton of weight without even trying, my old clothes are starting to fit again and I feel fantastic. I had to stop by my parents’ house to give my little sister something and my mom saw me. I’m still stunned at how she reacted.
She became enraged that I lost weight. She said it wasn’t fair (she has been on “diets” for as long as I can remember and never really loses any weight) and that I’m trying to make her look bad because “everyone knows if you lose weight after leaving someone it means they were the problem”. I was like yeah, I’m much happier now, go figure.
I’m just frustrated that my own mother can’t be happy that I’m happy. Just ugh. I’m mad that I can’t see my family without being made to feel guilty. It’s just not fair.
On Thin Ice
This happened four years ago, and my blood still boils at the thought of it. My mother-in-law believes I took her little boy away from her. I just can’t win with her. Nothing is good enough. I’ve come to terms with that. Even moving in next door didn’t solve the “taking her son” issue, but that’s another story. My husband does shift work, 14-hour days.
During our wedding planning, he was doing this seven days in a row, two days off, then another seven days. He asked me to plan everything. We wanted to elope, but family insisted we have a real wedding. So, I planned everything. Literally everything. Because my future husband asked me to. We wanted super non-traditional, and I nailed it.
I did it on budget. On point. It was the best we could do with being forced to have a big wedding. No church. So I found a great local lady to marry us. General ceremony type. We put in as many hidden inside jokes into the ceremony as we could, related to our history and interests. Geeky jokes that would fly just under the radar unless you knew us.
But, the most meaningful part was our sand ceremony. My husband and I still have Lego from our childhood. So we went and dug out pieces and colors to use instead of a sand ceremony. It was my favorite part. Literally mixing the Legos to never be separated. One bucket, one life. This went on without a hitch. I poured. He poured. It was adorable.
I laughed at the pieces he picked. He asked me: Did you put a shark in there too?! Of course I did. We came back from photos a few hours later. That’s when I noticed something that made my blood boil. I noticed kids playing with a pile of Legos at a table. Our Legos. From our sand ceremony. I go looking for the box of ceremony items and it is gone.
Everything is gone. I asked the kids where they got it (They were young) and they said a nice lady was giving away free Lego! My blood was so hot. I asked my Maid of Honor for help and she lost her mind too. We tried to find all the pieces, but you know how kids are. The important, meaningful pieces were gone. The figurines, the shark, the cool special pieces.
When we finally confronted my mother-in-law, she told me how selfish it was to have Lego at the wedding and not let kids play with it. That I’m too old for Lego. That it wasn’t a real sand ceremony and I ruined the wedding once again. She was convinced she did nothing wrong. We made an announcement eventually and traded the kids money for any Legos they found.
We got back even more, only missing a few. It was enough to fill back the special boxes I had made for it. Except… no childhood shark (my special piece). No childhood figurine (his special piece). Ever since then, my mother-in-law and I are barely on speaking terms. It took a good year, I think, to use more than a few words with her at any given time.
She did finally realize what she did, however, after a later fight. She had again insisted I had ruined HER son’s wedding by getting upset about “silly items with no meaning”. I knew just what to do. I took her wedding album and told her I threw it out. It’s just a silly book with pictures, after all. Eventually…and I mean EVENTUALLY…she did apologize for everything she did at our wedding.
This included other things like telling everyone I’m just a good-for-nothing gold digger. I did eventually give back her wedding album. We are still on very thin ice. However, boundaries are much more respected after a few other item-taking situations. You do what you have to do when negotiating with crazy people, I suppose. You DO have to get on their level sometimes.
Money Can't Buy Happiness
I’m a 39-year-old woman who is successful and quite well-off. My siblings, sadly, are not. My brother, who is 42, has three children. My sister, who is 35, also has three with another one on the way. My youngest sister, who 28, is married and pregnant, but she had nothing to do with the events of this story. In fact, she’s the one member of my family I’m actually close with.
We were all raised to believe that money doesn’t matter and that all you need is a happy marriage and lots of kids to live a happy life. Being poor and having lots of kids was somehow glorified. Maybe because that’s the way our parents lived and wanted to convince themselves that they didn’t mess it up. Fortunately for me, I didn’t buy into that nonsense.
I always knew I never wanted children. I focused on my career and on achieving success. Today I have my own house, wonderful pets, and a loving boyfriend. My family, however, seems to think that there’s something wrong with my lifestyle. My parents have often commented that my five-bedroom house is empty without any kids running around.
My siblings often tell me I’m selfish for not having kids and actually enjoying my life. However, their disdain for my “selfish” lifestyle doesn’t stop them from begging for money. My brother and sister have called me and asked me to help pay their bills. Now, if it’s something serious like clothes or school supplies for their kids, I’m willing to pitch in. But they have more ridiculous demands.
They’ve asked me to pay for trips to amusement parks etc. I always refuse. I also pay for my parents to stay in a high-end assisted living facility. They’re my parents, I owe them this much. However, I can’t help but feel insulted when they sing praises for my siblings for breeding and following in their footsteps and how my parents wish I had done the same.
As if, among all their kids, I’m the biggest disappointment. For this reason, I’ve distanced myself from them. I only call or visit to check up on them and don’t let them be a part of my life. The other day, I got a call from my sister asking if she, her husband, my brother, and his wife could come over. I said OK. I cannot believe this new demand that they made.
They asked me to leave my fortune to their kids, in equal portions. They said if I did, they would stop asking me for financial help. They said this as if they were doing me a favor. “You don’t have kids, so who’re you gonna leave it to?” asked my brother. I told them I was going to leave my money to charity and that I don’t owe them anything at all.
When they went on the “you’re selfish” rant, I told them to get lost. The next morning, I got a call from my dad telling me they were disappointed in me. I simply hung up. These people decided to have kids they can’t afford and actually have to ask me for handouts every other month. But somehow they think they’re so much better than me. The delusion is really something to see.
I should add that my middle sister had her first kid at 22. My brother became a dad at 26. My sister decided not to get her college degree and became a stay-at-home mom. My brother’s wife is also a housewife. They are raising soon-to-be four and three kids respectively in single-income households. It’s like hitting yourself in the foot and then wondering why there’s blood on the floor.
But I’m proud of my youngest sister. She finished her education, married a great guy, has a promising career and she says she’ll have another child only if it’s feasible. Unsurprisingly, she too has been subjected to snide remarks for “placing money over children”.
My 38-year-old sister has just demanded that my parents force me to sell them my house for her to live in without me. I wish I were making this up. My sister has always been extremely selfish and entitled and probably has narcissistic personality disorder, since she appears to legitimately believe no one loves her unless they’re doing outrageous things for her.
She did live in my house for about a year before I kicked her out for many reasons. She’s literally convinced herself that she will die in any other home. My parents did say no to her demands on my home, thank heavens. I mean, the house is mine. They can’t force me to sell it since I’m independent and they have no claim to my home, but I’m glad they’re not throwing our relationship under the bus according to her whims, as they’ve done in the past.
My sister is now furious with all of us and asked us not to contact her until she’s “treated like family again”. Easy enough. I had zero plans of interacting with her again in any capacity. I can’t even with her expectations. It’s just too absurd, and I’m slightly terrified my parents will eventually cave and start harassing me to sell them my home for her sake.
I have a really good relationship with them where she’s not concerned, but it’s a nightmare when she gets involved. Anyway, just venting and getting it off my chest.
Give Me a Break
A bit of background, I am married with two biological daughters and just adopted my son. He is nine months old and has been in my care since he was six months old. His birth mother is my cousin, and we had talked about adopting him when she was pregnant, but she was shamed into keeping him by her mother. There was never a father in the picture.
My cousin also has a daughter (three years old) from another man. The baby is born and it was a hot hot hot mess. My cousin never held him, underfed him, left him in the car seat all the time (which ended up giving him a flat head), and moved in with a horrible man. My cousin’s mother didn’t do diddly! Which I know it is not her responsibility, but she pressured her daughter into keeping him so badly, but she isn’t even going to make sure he is eating right?!
Some serious stuff ended up happening between them. The baby ended up getting passed around, her mother didn’t want to take care of him, some other family members didn’t want to take care of him, and finally my cousin asked me if I still wanted to adopt him. I did, and I love him very much. This was a closed adoption, as in the birth mother doesn’t want pictures, updates or to see him at all.
This is easy to do, as we weren’t that close to begin with. I got him caught up on his medical checkups, he has a helmet to reshape his head, he is gaining weight, and emotionally he is doing so very well! He is smiling, laughing, saying mama, and just loves cuddles and kisses—I am sure because he never got them. Until it all came crashing down around me.
See, apparently, APPARENTLY, per the former grandmother and a few other family members, I am depriving him by giving him a stable and loving home instead of letting him float around to awful family members. They also hate that I’m enforcing new family title roles, such as his former grandmother is now aunt, not grandma. Yes, I am the one depriving him….give me a break! He is thriving in my care!
She Always Gets Her Way
My cousin has always been the spoiled one of the family. She is the kind of person who always gets what she wants no matter who she hurts in the process. We were close growing up, but we drifted apart in the last decade. She met her fiancé about 1.5 years ago, got engaged last May, and set the date for the wedding for this coming August.
Last I heard, back in October, they had already spent $40,000 on it and counting, but alas, there was no way they could invite my partner. Shocker. I moved abroad five years ago and met my partner two years ago. For the last year and a half, we’ve been trying for a baby. In February the impossible happened. I finally got pregnant!
My little one is due to arrive in October and everyone is over the moon…except for my cousin. She won’t understand how there is no way in heaven or heck that I will get on a plane for a two-hour flight and another two-hour train when I’ll be seven months pregnant, all without my partner. She threw a fit at me, my aunt, my parents, and anyone willing to listen.
Apparently I am so selfish because of all the time in the world I chose now to get pregnant, probably to take her thunder or something like that. My mostly awful aunt also won’t tell her to shut up because her baby can do no wrong in life. Still, at least she doesn’t try to convince me and actually admits I’m right when we’re speaking as just the two of us.
Hiding His Money
Long story as short as possible, when my mom and her siblings were between six and 14, their father just up and left one day—on my grandmother’s birthday of all things. No notice. But he revealed to my grandmother he’d been having an affair with a co-worker, and since the house was in his name, he wanted her and the kids to be out within a week.
She never had the resources for a court case and never went after him for child support. So she gathered up the kids and their things and they left. He never gave them a penny and would rarely come pick up one kid at a time for his visitation days, plus he and his new wife were mentally awful when he had them. My poor grandmother worked three jobs just to make ends meet.
Once the kids were old enough to work, they had to help with bills. My mom always used to say if she wanted anything besides basic necessities, they had to work to get it themselves. He married his wife without telling anyone. Well, he just passed last week and my mom and I are the executors of his estate. It’s been a lot of emotions—but one detail is particularly brutal.
We’ve been seeing just how much money they saved over the years. More money than we’ve ever seen, which all has to go to the care of his wife as she’s sole beneficiary and needs to be in a nursing home. But when I was calling the life insurance policy to notify them so she can get her payout, there was a big twist. The woman on the phone said “wait, who is [grandmother’s name]?”
Turns out he had taken out a separate life insurance policy after he abandoned them and made my grandmother the beneficiary. It’s worth five times as much as the one for his wife. Since my grandma passed in 2016 and he kept paying the premiums, it’ll be evenly split between my mom and her siblings. Her siblings, who all went no contact with him as adults, are convinced he must have forgotten about it. I think the truth is much different.
I know him and how careful he was with his money. I remember one day last year when I went to drop off groceries for them and he was in a fuss because he couldn’t account for $1.75 in one of his bank accounts. We can say what we want about him, but he was a highly intelligent person. He knew what he was doing when it came to his finances.
There’s no way he was paying four figures a year on an insurance policy and didn’t know what it was for. I don’t know how I feel about it. Maybe it shows some remorse or humanity, but all the same, I don’t care. They needed money then. An insurance payout after a lifetime of pain doesn’t absolve him of his guilt and selfishness. How he could pass with a fortune and my grandmother passed with just enough to cover her cremation.
I kept him in my life for some reason but dealing with all of his post-passing things is making me hate him.
It's Not Your Wedding
So, I recently got married. When I first got engaged, my parents were super excited and offered to pay for the wedding and reception. We graciously accepted because that would take a lot of financial stress off us and we could focus on buying a house. My parents decided since they offered financial help, they could dictate everything from the guest list to the food to the venue.
They wanted to invite everyone in their neighborhood subdivision, people I have never met. They wanted to serve meat while my husband and I are both vegetarians, and all sorts of things we explicitly were against. After months of fighting, them threatening to take away financial help, and then threatening to not come if we did it on our own, we finally said screw it and we got married in a courthouse.
My mother told me I was the worst daughter in the world and now refuses to talk to me. My father did the same. I’m just exhausted.
My parents are super controlling. I confronted them like a week or so ago and told them I was getting married this year, that I am an adult and I get to make adult decisions and I hope they will come to the wedding but if not, that’s on them. My dad broke down and said he wanted a better relationship with me and my fiancé. My mom was just mad that I had the “audacity” to speak to my parents that way.
Mind you, I was super calm and diplomatic. My mother then accused me of spreading lies about them and trying to blame all my problems on them. My dad told me he was going to work on her. This past weekend, my dad bought a bunch of pumpkins and invited me and my fiancé to come carve them with my family. We had a great time and even decided to stay for dinner.
At the end of the dinner, my parents told us they wanted to work on our relationship and had scheduled a family counseling meeting after work on Monday. We reluctantly agreed to go because it seemed like they were genuinely trying and it would be nice to have a moderator. I soon found out what a horrific mistake this was.
We went, and it turns out the “counselor” was fake and my parents basically paid this lady to agree with them and gaslight me. They tried to convince me I was “unstable,” possibly severely mentally ill, and I needed to call off the wedding and move back in with them immediately. The fake counselor lady just kept saying how perfect and caring my parents are.
She said that they have the financial means to take care of me. I ended up freaking out at them and telling them that they were not perfect parents and they were super dysfunctional and that what they just did was not okay. My fiancé (who was there) started yelling and defending me. When he did so, my parents started insulting him and told him he doesn’t know me and he doesn’t have the ability to take care of me.
The circus ended when my mom told everyone in the room that I was delusional and said that last year I fantasized that my dad was cheating and told all my siblings. Only, that’s not what happened at all. This was a real event, except it was my mother who thought my dad was cheating and told everyone. When she confronted my dad about it and he got furious, apparently she told him I made it up and convinced her he was cheating.
I ended up pulling up screenshots of messages that she sent that showed she was clearly the one who thought he was cheating and was trying to convince everyone else he was the bad guy. My fiancé was able to back me up and told everyone about the times my mom went off to him about how she thought my dad was getting it on in the back of his office.
My mom ended up admitting that she contributed to the cheating drama but she said she thought I made it worse. In fact, all I did was listen to her nonsense like I have my entire life. We all ended up storming out after that. I’m super devastated right now, I truly thought my parents changed and wanted to fix our relationship and then they did this to me.
I also can’t believe my mother tried to use me as a scapegoat when she believed my father was cheating and instead of being honest she threw me straight under the bus. To be fair, I’m not 100% sure the counselor is “fake” but I am 99% sure she isn’t licensed or broke all code of ethics because I have seen therapists in the past and this lady was nothing like them.
She didn’t ask us our names and there was no paperwork—every therapist and counselor I have ever seen had me sign several pages to tell me my rights and that I consent to treatment as well as disclosing medical history and all that other stuff. She didn’t have us take turns talking, she didn’t even try to hear my side of things, and she let my parents interrupt me constantly.
The Space Between Us
Growing up, my family was always close to my mom’s sister. My aunt has two girls who are identical twins and I was always forced to play nice with them even though they never wanted to hang out. When I got married, I asked them to be my bridesmaids, and they stood up in my wedding…only for them to go back to ignoring me and not putting forth effort into the relationship.
I mailed them flowers, would call them each month, send happy birthday texts, and handwrite them letters. But they never initiated. I decided to forgo the relationship and stopped reaching out. They didn’t reach out or contact me for over a year, only to say thanks after I texted “happy birthday”. I am turning 30 in a few weeks and my parents had a plan to host a party, with people flying in from across the country.
Yesterday, one of the twins had a bridal shower and my mom begged me to go, even though I was not asked to be a bridesmaid and did not want to go. When I got ready for the shower, my mother didn’t like my hair and told me to wash it, didn’t like my outfit and told me to change, and once I did all those things to just get through the day and survive, then she was upset with how little I talked with everyone at the shower.
She was giving me nasty glares across the table and hitting my knees underneath it. I found out at the shower that my twin cousins both bought houses, graduated with their masters, and they didn’t even tell me. I felt so hurt at the shower that I decided to tell my parents I did not want them to be invited to my 30th birthday party, as on my 21st my dog passed in my arms and I’ve never had a big party for it.
I wanted to invite people who do not make me feel bad about myself. I didn’t expect the backlash I got. My mom stopped speaking to m and my dad wrote me the most hurtful message I’ve ever read from him—sharing that they are canceling the party, that they will not be attending, and that I am being a selfish spoiled brat.
For what it’s worth, I have invited my twin cousins to every birthday party, every college party—all of it. I have never been invited to any of theirs. I spoke with my brother about the situation, sent him the text messages my dad sent me, and immediately my mom calls my brother apologizing and playing the victim, saying how hard it was for her at the shower because I didn’t talk enough to everyone at the party.
My brother calls my dad and then talks to me. He and I are very close, and he also has beef with the twins, so I thought he surely would understand how stupid this all sounds. His words crushed me. He instead lectured me on how the family needs to get along and how he needs to play devil’s advocate. This all happened as I was in town to visit everyone for the shower.
He then proceeded to tell me that I must have hurt people by not talking to them enough, (but I did talk to everyone!) and as I started to cry, he gave me an ultimatum saying he could either drive me to the train station and I catch the next train back to my home or that I will need to “collect myself” as he was having people come over.
Since I live in a different state, I was planning on staying at his house instead of my parents’. So I decided to Uber to a hotel and stay until my train departs. I feel so betrayed, unsupported, and hurt right now. The worst part is that before my brother spoke with my parents, he offered to host the party instead but after this, I just want to cancel it all, not go to my cousin’s wedding, and distance myself from my family entirely.
Adding Fuel to the Fire
At my baby shower, my sister insulted my unborn baby, tried to fight with everyone, and then smashed my cake because it wasn’t vanilla and she didn’t get her piece first. But that wasn’t all. My female cousin said that even though she was at my baby shower, it would be just like me to not show up at hers—which is coming up and scheduled on my due date.
She then took a onesie from the gift pile because it would “look better on her baby”. My male cousin used the shower to announce that his girlfriend of three months was also pregnant. He also made fun of my baby’s name the entire time, saying “we’ll never name our baby something stupid as insert common baby girl name here”. Oh, we’re just getting started.
My aunt stated, “Your daughter will be fine but hopefully she looks like her dad, white babies are always the cutest”. I’m half Asian and strongly resemble the Asian side of my family. She also kicked out all of my friends as they showed up, stating “I planned it, I get to choose who comes in”. Various other family members’ comments were icing on top.
“There’s no way you’re 36 weeks, you must have the wrong day”. “You’ll have to stop your career now that baby’s here”. “If you’re not getting her baptized, she’s going to the devil”. “When are you having your next one”? This one didn’t really upset me, just kind of added fuel to the fire. “You’ll have to work out the second she’s born if you want to be pretty again”.
“Why are you getting cloth diapers, do you think you’re better than us”? Don’t get me wrong, I’m thankful for all the efforts. But I really don’t want to see ANY of them ever again.
Holding Them Accountable
So, my husband was a heavy-duty mechanic. Before he passed, he had over $15,000 in tools at his work, plus massive tool boxes—and that is the used price I could sell them for, not the new price. His boss agreed to help me sell them since I know squat about tools. Well, his boss called me today and told me that my husband’s parents had called.
They had previously tried to get his tools while he was on life support at the hospital and wanted them again. At that point, the boss told them no, that they weren’t leaving the yard without my permission. But they had to go and do something horrifically selfish. They convinced one of my husband’s co-workers that my husband had given them several tools before he passed, and to get them from his toolbox and deliver them.
Luckily, his boss has a list of which tools were taken. So tomorrow morning I am taking the list, his boss’s statement, and my husband’s will to the authorities and having them charged with theft, getting a restraining order, and getting those tools back. These people haven’t given me a moment’s rest since my husband was admitted to the hospital with terminal cancer.
They have threatened me, told lies about me, tried to take things from me, and just harassed me constantly. It was so bad that my dying husband had them banned from the hospital. At which point they tried to force their way in. Security turned them away. And the sad thing is, they don’t even think they are doing anything wrong.
They believe they are more entitled to his things than his wife and five-year-old son. I have tried ignoring them, but they just keep escalating. And since they refuse to speak to me directly, the only option I have available is going to the authorities. And since his dad has a history of disorderly behavior, assault, and uttering threats, it should be easy to get officers to throw in a restraining order.
I really hope no one is home when the officers show up so they have to go to his mom’s work. She has a type of job where you need a clean record to work there.
Mother Knows Best
At the point of this story, my ex-husband and I have been separated for over a year. It was a bit of an emotional roller coaster, and the drama never seemed to end. I honestly felt like I was drowning from time to time…and the biggest problem was my mother-in-law. The stuff her son put me through was horrible, but she was giving him a run for his money the entire time.
So I’m eager to be divorced and move on. Or move on as much as I can, considering we have a kid together and he uses the kid to exert control over both of us. Plus, his mother is doing the same thing and trying to manipulate the situation. Now, our divorce is an easy DIY process. I fill out court paperwork, but then realize I have to get an adult to serve it to my ex.
The server signs a “I served him” form and it’s all filed at court together. I then take the paperwork with me to my mother-in-law’s house, because my ex lives with her and I went there a lot for changing over taking care of the kids. At the time, my ex and I were in a fairly good place and life was going ok (provided he always got his way).
I no longer angered him by seeming like I had a brain of my own or anything. However, it was just after he and his mother tried to buy me back with flowers. They totally think they’ve got me all swindled and distracted by these massive flowers…and I ruin it as I want to divorce. It probably shocked them as to why I wasn’t swooning and begging for him back.
In any case, I ask my mother-in-law if she minds handing the divorce paperwork to him to serve him officially. It just has to be served by an adult; any adult that isn’t me. Then sign on the dotted line on the “I served him” form that I had with me. She says, “I’m not handing it to him unless I read it!!! I’m not being involved with anything that would be nasty towards my son. I need to know what you are saying isn’t lies”.
Now, in our state divorce in a no-fault system. The paperwork is literally tick a box saying “I want a divorce please” and filling in our personal particulars. There’s no room for embellishments, reasons or…lies. So I agree that she could read it. She asks if I could leave it with her for a few days to read. I tell her it can’t leave my sight and needs to be served in front of me.
This is also partly because I’m not an idiot. So she says she will read it. At this point, my ex—he’s home—tries to read it over her shoulder and she has to shoo him off. She reads the entire thing end to end as I sat there. She puts it down and proceeds to infuriate me. “I’m not handing that to him. It will upset him”. “There’s nothing nasty there, it’s just our personal details and a request to divorce. He just needs to agree or not. Either way we’re getting divorced”.
“Not going to happen. You’re not getting divorced, he clearly doesn’t want to and you’ve both got to want it”. But this is where she was wrong. “I don’t need his permission to divorce him, we don’t both need to be there. If it’s too hard for him to face, just serve this and I’ll do the rest. He doesn’t even have to show up to court”.
“I will not serve it. I will not upset my babyyyyyy”. I recall asking if I could ask an adult sibling to serve it, seeing as they were also all there. I got told by them too that I was being unreasonable to want to divorce their precious brother and was absolutely nuts for letting him go. Ok. So I leave and on my way out my ex is sitting on the floor in the doorway of the front door.
You know, very unsubtly blocking my exit. Full on tears and victim mode. “Whyyyyy are you divorcing meeeeeeeeeeee”. Really? Um, every type of mistreatment the book. The narcissism, the gaslighting. But of course, I can’t say that as it will set him off, so I don’t really commit to an answer. I gingerly try to side-step around him and get out of there.
I’m feeling super “triggered” by his blocking the exit but trying not to show him that I was triggered. Show him a weakness and you’ll have it used against you. He then proceeded to try to whine his way back into my heart. It was uncomfortable. I stood there for a polite time to make him feel like I’d listened, then I left as quickly as I could, trying not to anger him. But I still have a huge problem.
As my mother-in-law won’t serve him the paperwork and I still want my divorce, I pay money for a qualified process server to do the job. The server’s first question was “Why don’t you just get some friend to hand it to him? It’s far cheaper”. Then I explained and he said he understood. Two weeks later, the process server called me and said, “What the heck is wrong with these people”?!
This was before I even said hello. The story he told me made my jaw drop. Apparently, they locked down everything to stop him! He had to leap over their wrought-iron gate to even knock on their door. Every time my mother-in-law or anyone else came to the door they claimed my ex was not there even though his car was in driveway and a man was behind them who met his description.
They also tried crying and screaming “go awayyyyy”. They eventually stopped answering the door to his knocks and all three screamed “go away” to the server. Now, a while ago my ex sustained a work-related injury, and he rarely left the house because my mother-in-law waited on him hand and foot. It was definitely him there at the time.
The server decided he had to do a technical serve, stick it on his car, nail one to the front door, post one in the mailbox, and do a long, detailed affidavit explaining everything he did. He also said that he saw a man that matched the photo I provided, but the people in the house said it wasn’t him. Finally, he noted the huge number of times he went to the address and tried to serve.
Later I find out my ex had turned his waterworks on his mother and she went into protective mama bear mode to protect him from…being divorced. The financial settlement and kid settlement stuff had already been done, so this was just divorce to no longer be married—that is all. It’s like a sick joke. Perhaps they had another money-grabbing idea in the works, I guess I’ll never know.
So court day arrives. I’m crazy nervous. The biggest hurdle: Will the judge accept that he was served? Otherwise, I’ve got to keep trying to serve him, which is more money for me to pay. I half expected them to show up and be dramatic and refuse to go ahead. But I got some advice and the lawyer said that provided one person asked for a divorce, it’s pretty much a sure thing to get a divorce regardless of what the other person says.
But they could still cause delays so the judge could verify their claims or whatever. I can’t believe what actually ended up happening. They didn’t show up. I sat in the courtroom watching other cases go through like a well-oiled machine, and all the staff in the courtroom moved mechanically and repeatedly. It was almost beautiful to watch them do their thing.
Then finally my name was called. I stand up and introduce myself. The Judge stops. The well-oiled machine stopped. The courtroom staff look from judge to me. I get the feeling this doesn’t happen often. The judge was silent as she read through the paperwork once, then twice. She looks up at me and peers at me for a few seconds.
Then she asks, “Why was he so difficult to serve, do you think”? “Um…I believe that he thought if I couldn’t serve him…that we won’t be getting divorced”. She looked at the paperwork again. “You’ve been separated for more than a year…finances sorted…kids sorted…” The rest of the court staff lean forward in interest. It’s like this court file is the kind that they’re all going to read later and discuss for weeks around the lunch room table.
Judge shook her head in a big nooooo. I thought all was lost—but then came the twist. “Well despite his best efforts, my opinion is that he was legally served. You’ve brought this to his attention on a number of occasions and you WILL be getting your divorce today”. Well-oiled machine kicked back up into gear she said something about him having 30 days to object to the divorce.
Still, the only thing that can stop a divorce at that stage is us reconciling the relationship and us skipping back into the courtroom hand in hand. Nonetheless, some people do try to object just to be difficult. She looked at her file and suggested I might need more advice as a precaution if he’s that insistent on not being divorced. After that, the blood rushing through my ears drowned out the rest.
Oh the relief. A month later, the divorce papers arrived by post. I knew my ex got his own paperwork the same time as he and my mother-in-law claimed I was a con artist and somehow lied to the court. However, they didn’t apply to the court to get it reversed after all that effort. My poor mother-in-law’s son was all divorced. And, thank God, so was I.
Walking on Eggshells
My sister disowned me 12 years ago. She was having an affair, and the whole family had gone out to a bar for a graduation celebration. She got really angry as the night went on. I was confused and we got into an argument and I ended up leaving, I didn’t hear from her for a few days which was unusual, so I called her and she was still super angry.
I asked, “What’s wrong now? ” She was pretty moody most of the time, I think my whole life I’ve walked on eggshells around her. But now she said, “You know what you did”! Um, no. I had no idea. So she begins to tell me that on their way home from the bar that graduation night, her husband told her that I told him she was having an affair.
No, I did not. I told her as much, but she would not believe me. I finally said, “You got played, he must have been suspicious and made it up. When you figure out the truth, call me”. Well, fast forward 12 years later. My husband and I run into her now ex-husband today. I finally asked him why he had said that?? He looked at me like he had no idea what I was saying.
He told me, “You never said anything to me”! I felt…gut-punched, relieved, all kinds of emotions. I knew I had drinks that night, but I remembered the whole night. I felt justified but still sad. I told him, so you both had affairs and I was the collateral damage? He said he was sorry. I’ve lost my whole family over this. In fact, our brother was in an industrial accident about five years ago and because of this, I wasn’t invited to the family funeral.
I’ve been through therapy, have a great husband and wonderful kids, but have always felt this abandoned feeling. At least I know I really did nothing wrong,
Our Special Day
My fiancé and I are going to get married in a few months, and we’ve decided we don’t want kids at the wedding. We’ve also assigned the roles that are usually performed by children to our beloved pets. My dog will be the flower girl, my fiancé’s dog will be the ring bearer, and my two cats are co-maids of honor. Our friends, my fiancé’s sister, and my brothers think this is adorable.
Alas! Our other relatives do not share this enthusiasm. His parents said they thought it was strange but accepted it because they want us to be happy. But my parents were downright horrible. They threw a fit and accused me of “placing animals above children”. I calmly explained to them that this was my fiancé’s and my wedding and it really wasn’t their place to decide who would be a part of it.
Our pets are well trained and well behaved, which is more than I can say about our relatives’ kids. But as it happens, my parents aren’t even coming to my wedding because I refused to follow a certain wedding tradition I object to—the father “giving away” the daughter. Good riddance! However, they sadly are not the only ones causing trouble.
One of the friends I’ve known since childhood is a mother of three and was going to be one of the bridesmaids. She was “horrified” when she learned that my dog and cats will be in the wedding party. Surely, her three ill-mannered kids should have had that honor. She threatened to not come to the wedding too. I made it easier for her by taking her name off the guest list.
Then, my cousin who has two kids told me she would bring her kids anyway. When she and her family were actually there, surely I won’t be able to do anything about it. I told her I would have her, her husband, and their kids escorted out by security. That shut her up. My fiancé’s then-friend asked him to “make me” replace my dog with his daughter as the flower girl.
He was warned to never bring it up again. This wedding will be a special day for my fiancé and I and we will not let other people’s entitlement ruin it.
My aunt has always been difficult. She could be very nice and caring, but then, for no obvious reason, she suddenly turned into a screaming monster. Once, my mom, who has a key to her apartment, left her a present and a card in her bedroom for my aunt on her birthday, and all my aunt did was scream and yell about “How dare we break into her place.”
A few months later, she was detained for throwing a chair at her co-worker. This led to her being diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. She had to get into therapy and was on probation for many months. She’s doing much better now, and her therapist helped her a lot. It turned out that my aunt is the sweetest, most caring person in the world. I’m looking forward to seeing her next week.
My father and his wife spent years convincing me I was a bad son, and I believed it. Genuinely, from when I was around 3-4 until I was 23, I thought I was a bad son and felt so guilty. It wasn’t until I was 23 that I realized that they were the ones canceling seeing me and then calling me up to reprimand me for not seeing them. It was them. They were bad parents, I wasn’t a bad son. Their friendly facade to me and my friends was so thick that I never saw it, and a lot of my friends still don’t see it.
I cut contact with them three years ago and have refused to acknowledge their existence since. I just tell people I don’t have a dad.
Hook, Line and Sinker
When I was six years old, my aunt, who was my guardian, faked my grandmother’s passing. She lied to all of us—local churches, her friends, and strangers—for sympathy and money. She wrote to multiple people asking for support. She needed money for a headstone and the funeral, etc. People bought into it hook, line, and sinker.
So you can imagine our surprise a year later when we received a letter from our grandma saying she was coming to see us.
My birthday: “I got you a pack of socks, but I realized I can get them cheaper from somewhere else, so I’m going to return them.” My brother two weeks later: “I think I’d like archery, will you get me this $600 bow?” Parents: “Oh, heck yes!” Thing is, I never even got the socks. The favoritism runs very deep in my family.
Better Off Alone
My dad screamed at me for 20 minutes when I was 11, called me a witch, and told me to get the heck out of his house when I casually mentioned we seem to argue more than other families. In truth, I know he was hurt too, and he regrets not having talked to someone about what he went through as a kid because of how much it hurt his own family.
Odd One Out
My wife helped me come to the realization. Out of myself and my two brothers, I was the only one to have never been behind bars, yet I was the only one my parents didn’t buy a car for. And actually, it wasn’t just about getting a car—they refused to even teach me how to drive. I had to move out of the house before I learned how.
So one day, I had my wife (girlfriend at the time) over to my parents’ for Christmas dinner. My mom offers me a glass of champagne about two months before my 21st birthday. No big deal, right? My stepdad proceeds to throw a temper tantrum about how I’m underage and not in his house and all this. Well, a couple of months later, I found out he bought my little brother, his biological child, a bottle of high-end bourbon for his 18th birthday.
When I was in the service, they had a whole bunch of deep-sea fishing trips and pro sports games they would go to without even so much as asking if I could come. They didn’t come to my boot camp graduation that I offered to pay for. They didn’t see me off when I was deployed. They weren’t there when I came back. Great times.
Her Biggest Secret
My mom and dad separated because they finally admitted that all that fighting wasn’t normal. I’d talked to them in my young teens about how I hate how they fight so much, and my mom said all married couples fight like that and that it was normal. Now I’m 18 and they separated this year, and they realized it is not normal or healthy to have “discussions” that involve screaming, tears, clenched fists, and everything short of physically harming each other nearly every day.
Neither of them are bad people in the slightest. They are both good parents, but they were just in a bad relationship and thought that staying together would make me and my sisters happier, when in reality I wish they would’ve separated years ago. They brought out the worst in each other. Then recently, my mom let out her biggest secret.
My mom came out as a lesbian. Turns out, part of the reason she was angry all the time was from repressing her sexuality.
You're Suffocating Me
Even though I seldom leave the house because I’m pretty introverted, my mom can’t handle it at all when I visit friends. Whenever I get home, she accuses me of loving them more than her. It’s even worse if I go out for two consecutive days or more, than she just goes totally ballistic. It’s suffocating and stupid, really.
It Shaped Our Whole Relationship
I was 9, and I was really nice to a poor guy selling shirts out of the back of his truck. My father’s reaction haunts me. My dad pulled me away and told me directly “It’s great to be nice to people, Chris, but be mean too. You want people to be a little scared of you.” Even at nine, I was like, “That’s not…great,” and it really was an interaction that shaped our relationship.
I went on to teach, have a vibrant friend group, and generally, I love people. It’s in my work and in every fiber of my life. My dad didn’t come out so well. He passed, alone, of an overdose about 10 years ago. The funeral would’ve been basically empty if not for all the friends who came to console me.
When I was growing up, especially in my teens, I now realize I suffered from anxiety and severe depression. My parents never did anything about it, even though they definitely could see something wasn’t right. I don’t place ALL the blame on them, as this was back in the 90s when mental health was still not openly discussed. But I was messed up for a very long time.
I got the help I needed, albeit as an adult, and now am a mom to an 11-year-old daughter. I am starting to see some familiar things in her; anxiety is the big one right now. So we have “Brain Checks.” If she ever needs to talk, at any time, all she has to do is say she needs a “Brain Check” and I stop whatever I am doing and let her tell me what is bothering her.
I can’t always fix her problem for her, but we talk it out and see if we can ease her mind or how we can do that. I know she won’t come to me for everything, but I hope that by doing this, she knows I will always provide her with a safe space to speak her mind and not be judged. I have no qualms dragging her to our GP for either meds or a therapist referral, though, if I feel talking to me just isn’t enough. I don’t want her to suffer like I did.
Rough Around the Edges
I was 11 years old when my mom and I came home to my aunt stealing our stereo equipment. When my mom confronted her, she pulled a knife. At the same moment, my uncle happened to be driving by, slammed on the brakes, reversed, and then came into the yard on the lawn and hit the corner of the house a little bit, jumped out of the van, and attacked my aunt. I only found out the dark truth about that day much later.
As my mom unpacked everything to me when I was older, she explained that my aunt was taking things to get money for her substance habit. Much later than that, I found out that my uncle wasn’t sober and shouldn’t have been driving at all. I look back on that day as the day I lost my innocence in a lot of ways. Can’t really go back from that.
To be fair, my nuclear family was generally your standard loving functional family. It was just my mom’s half-siblings who were toxic. They were always taking money and never around unless they had to be or needed something. After my mom passed, my aunt called me looking for money, and I pretty much hung up and never talked to any of them again.
I married into a toxic family. My husband realized it when his sister insulted me, out of the blue, to him for an hour. She then blamed him for making her husband hate the entire family. Meanwhile, everyone else in the family who was within earshot of all this all claimed to have not noticed or heard anything. It was loud and long. They knew.
He was pretty shell-shocked by the whole thing. It was ignored and NEVER resolved or discussed. It’s a very large family. I have been the black sheep ever since even though I wasn’t even in the “fight.” I would actually take responsibility for anything if I knew what made her so mad at the time. I apologized to her and she has never even admitted anything happened.
She was having a really tough time in her marriage at the time, however, and is now divorced. We didn’t live in town, so each visit was a nice, pleasant time and we all got along fine prior to this. Really changed out entire dynamic.
The Bare Necessities
My shower stopped working one day. I went to my mom, who was sitting in bed, and told her it was broken. Her response chilled me to the bone. She just looked at me, annoyed, and shrugged. Well, then my bedroom light burned out. Same thing. I tell her, hoping she’ll at least give me a new bulb. She says “okay?” And shrugs me off.
She made me feel entitled for asking for necessities. So I stopped asking for things. Most of my high school life, I spent in a room with no light, a kitchen with no food, a bathroom with no means to shower, one pair of pants, no socks, and in pain. Sitting in my dark room, unable to shower for a few months, I considered why some people shouldn’t have children.
My First Memory
My first memory is of my parents fighting when I was three years old. I remember my mom looking at my dad and yelling, “This is why we’re getting a divorce.” They separated when I was two, but took some time to figure out custody, as well as the actual finalization of their divorce. My mom was always so angry and would scream, throw things, and tell me consistently she didn’t want me around.
I finally had a breaking point with my mom the day before I turned 17. We got into a huge fight and I realized that she was just taking out the aggression of her past on me. I realized she had been blocking out what she put me through, and finally brought it to her attention. I know her mother was awful, and she kept perpetuating this cycle.
What triggered the whole realization was when I dated someone for the first time when I was 16, and my boyfriend’s mom treated me like her own. It was the first time I felt welcome in a home. She made sure I ate because she knew I wasn’t eating properly at home, she always had a bed made for me in case I ever needed a place to stay, and would always check in with my boyfriend to make sure I was okay when I went home.
I was eight years old and sitting in my new babysitter’s apartment having an asthma attack. I was very allergic to cats and my mom had left me with her despite knowing my allergy and knowing that she had nine cats. But the reason why she left me there was even worse. She needed me out of the way so she could go sleep with my older sister’s boyfriend.
She hadn’t even sent my inhaler with me. My life nearly ended that day, honest to God. To make matters worse, my sister found out and got in a fistfight with my mom in the hospital hallway while respiratory therapy was working with me. They both caught an STD from the dude, and I learned to always have my inhaler on me. Among other lessons.
My cousin Stephanie made a peanut cake, just everything out of peanuts. The flour had peanuts, it had peanut butter, peanut chocolate, and peanut chunks. I’m very allergic to peanuts, and she knew it. I refused to eat it for obvious reasons, and Stephanie shed some crocodile tears about how she had lovingly made the cake so we can all eat it, and how insulting it was for me to pass on it.
Between my Aunt Karen, her husband, and my paternal grandparents, they forced me to eat a HUGE piece of that cake while my other cousin called emergency from outside the house. I literally almost passed on. Afterward, they said they didn’t know about my allergy (???), and “I was a rebellious teenager who was very picky about food.”
The Last Straw
When none of them showed up to our youngest child’s third birthday party. Oh, but it gets worse. We had this planned for about a month and a half; you have to when you have three kids and crazy lives. Less than three weeks out, my mom decides to go on a mini-vacation to Florida for three days and asked us to move the whole party.
Her husband, my stepdad, decided that since she wasn’t going to the party, he didn’t have to either. Meanwhile, one of my brothers decided to go on a kayaking trip because he felt no obligation since my mom and stepdad weren’t going. Our youngest brother is the only one with a legitimate excuse because he had work that weekend.
So, the day of the party, everyone’s asking, “Where is your family?” This is both friends and my wife’s family, who I love dearly. For the first time, I didn’t hold back and said, “Because they’re toxic and too self-absorbed.” This was definitely one of those last straw situations. My wife and I were married young, and to be honest, my in-laws have been my parents ever since then.
They Didn't Come to See Me
Years ago, I was in the hospital after getting stabbed in the abdomen. I went under and the doctors had to bring me back. I woke up in the hospital full of stitches, but still alive. I had a really great group of friends who came throughout the weeks of my being there, to the point that I got my own room because it was disturbing fellow patients I shared a room with and the staff were super nice about it.
The only family member to visit, however, was my younger sister. My mom, dad, other four siblings….None of them came, and my mom only phoned and communicated to me through the nurses, never speaking directly to me until I was back at home. And this was during a time where we actually had a decent relationship comparative to other times in life.
She Genuinely Enjoys It
When I moved in with my partner, I noticed she called her family for things I would never call my own for. Then I realized this was because she actually likes them and doesn’t see communicating with them as an obligation. Instead, she wanted them to be part of her everyday life. It was then I realized just how messed up my family truly is.
Growing up, my family basically pooled together all our paychecks, and whatever was extra after bills was more or less fair game to use for my parents. So I constantly got my paychecks drained. I tried saving money up by saying I had a little less than what I did. After a year, had about $1,000 saved up. That’s when disaster struck.
My mom took my card to “buy dinner” and proceeded to check the balance on my card. She sees I have a lot more money than I was telling them. So she used my card to buy over $150.00 of food that I got none of, and then kicked me out of the house for “making the family do without.” Imagine not being proud of your kid for trying to save money.
Is This Real Life?
Not me, but my girlfriend. After a year of being together I invited her over for Christmas. After all the gift opening, my family sat down for food and we were all laughing and having a great time. Then I looked over at her, and she was quiet and just looked kind of shocked. We get in my car afterward, and she said “Is this how Christmas is every year?”
I told her yes, and she said “This is nothing like my family’s style. We open gifts, get into arguments, and then take the gifts back.”
A Real Eye-Opener
When my mother and I were on a heated phone call with each other and she said how much I “hurt her.” I finally had the courage to say “Well, what about how you hurt me?” Her response was “Well yeah, I MEANT to hurt you!”. Big eye opener on that one.
I Thought We Were Normal
I always thought my family was normal, it was just big and loud and everyone had tempers. Then I learned I was wrong. I told someone a funny story involving my little sister throwing a loaf of bread at my mom…the look on their face told me to stop there and not get to the part where she threatened to burn down the house with all of us in it.
One of my grandfathers only called me with super-negative information. He’d tell me things like he put one of the cats down, with details on how the cat acted on the way to the vet. He let me know on my 21st birthday that I was an old maid. That one was just after my grandmother, his wife, had passed a few months prior.
When my parents’ house was broken into, he didn’t even tell me. I only found out when we arrived home to see yellow tape outside my bedroom window. When my father passed, he decided my mom and I didn’t need any sympathy calls or anything. Because it “might upset us more.” I had more sympathy from perfect strangers.
He did call me after my father passed to let me know that my father never loved me—which was a crock, as anyone who knew my father knew how close we were. He passed in the hospital last year, and I had to miss the funeral. I couldn’t have shed a tear anyway. Meanwhile, many of the locals think he was great—they only saw his public persona.
A Family Reunion
I will mention one episode only that particularly hit me, as toxicity in my family is basically the norm. I was around seven years old and my grandfather, my mother’s father, gave me a plush of Mufasa and baby Simba from the Lion King. After visiting him, my parents and I went to my grandmother’s, my father’s mother. I had my plush with me.
We stayed at her place for 3-4 days. When it was time to leave, I was collecting my stuff but I couldn’t find the baby Simba anywhere. My mother asked my grandmother if she had seen the plush anywhere and she said no. Also, she commented “She (referring to me) is spoiled” because, in her opinion, I wasn’t good enough at taking care of my things.
I left with Mufasa only and without baby Simba. One year after, we visited my grandmother again. I went to the living room and my blood went cold. In one corner, my grandmother had put all my cousins’ toys so that they could find them easily when they were going to visit her. And…well, together with a giant doll, kitchen utensils, and a children’s book, there was my baby Simba plush. My grandmother had taken it away from me to give it to my cousins.
Playing the Victim
When my mom yelled at me for being depressed. She was saying how rude and inconvenient it is for everyone around me that I was depressed. She was screaming so hard that her face was all red. She screamed at me frequently. She would also always wait until I was in the car with her because I would be unable to leave.
I stopped talking to her after that and she played the victim. She apparently was suffering because she was “abandoned by her daughter.” No one in my family wanted to hear my side of things, no one reached out to check in on me. I was made out to be the bad selfish daughter. Now, I don’t have a relationship with anyone in my family.
I cut both my parents off after I realized they both will not change or get help or see they ever did anything wrong. It’s been tough to deal with the emotions of it all, especially the emotions I felt when I was younger and in their care. I’ve been working on it with therapy for a few years now. But it’s been a necessary decision for me to cut those ties, so I can focus on myself.
I was seven years old, and my dad hadn’t been home for three days. My mom put us kids in the car and drove to every bar in town until she saw my dad’s truck. Then she told me to go into the bar, look for my dad, and tell him to come home. I refused, so she sent my 4-year-old brother in instead.
My mother threw a fit about how my son is so involved in his dad’s life. This hit home, because my mother and father have been separated for a long time because she did the same thing to him with us. She decided that I was “neglecting” my son because I didn’t want to limit what he does with his dad. I’m sorry if I won’t repeat my family’s mistakes and that I want my son to have a father.
When my parents realized that I had been accepted into a premier school on a partial scholarship, they retracted their promise to pay for my college, just because they wanted me to go to a state school near them. They even gave me an ultimatum, telling me that if I went there, I could never really be accepted back into their house.
I ended up going to the local state school they wanted, and flunked out due to stress and depression. 24 years later, my brother is on his fourth degree and they are still supporting him and his wife. Oh, and his “professional poker playing.”
I've Built Up a Tolerance
I was talking to a friend about how my allergies had been acting up recently, a problem I had never had until I moved out of California, when she asked me if I wanted Benadryl because she had some in her purse. I told her I built up a tolerance to Benadryl, and she was very surprised because my allergies had just started getting bad when I moved here.
She asked me how in the heck did I build up a tolerance to Benadryl? My answer made her go white as a ghost. I mentioned to her that growing up, my mom would give me Benadryl every night until I was about 14 or 15. It would make me drowsy so I would go to sleep and leave her alone. She was very alarmed.
When my mom opened my mail, took out a credit card check, made it out to herself for $4,000, and put it in front of me to sign…while I was in the hospital getting chemotherapy. I did not sign it, and she was very angry and told me how I owed her. We really didn’t have any kind of a relationship after that because I was just trying to stay alive and the stress was too much.
Then my sister started jumping all over me because I was asleep and didn’t answer the phone when she called me…because I was tired from cancer and the treatment. Yeah, we’re still not talking.
It happened this past week. I asked my mom if we could go out to lunch and we made plans for Thursday. Instead, she stood me up to go shopping for a new car, and kept calling and saying, “Just one more dealership!” I was waiting for over three hours in the shopping complex by the restaurant. She apologized over text and asked if she could come see me to show me her new car.
Stop Being Overdramatic
There were kind of a lot of moments; but some re-occurring moments were whenever I was seriously sick or hurt, my mom wouldn’t believe me, or she would ignore me. When I was nine years old, I told her the vitamins she gave me made me feel sick. She told me to hurry up to the car so I wouldn’t be late for school. I said that I really didn’t feel good.
She yelled to hurry up. I go outside, and suddenly I’m puking on the lawn. She rolled her eyes at me. When I was 12 years old, I told her that I fell on my elbow at school and it hurt a lot. She just hummed at me. I tell her the next day that my arm still really hurts.
She said I was fine. The day after that, I’m being driven to school, and she asks me why I was wearing a sweater even though it’s hot outside and also, “Why are you holding your arm like that?” I roll up my sleeve and show her my elbow, which is purple and swollen like heck. Her response: “Oh.” 17 years old. I was sick, sick sick sick, and she kept telling me that it was just allergies.
I asked her if I could just lie down for an hour. At exactly an hour, she called for me to do the dishes. I didn’t get up because I was just starting to doze and I really felt like I couldn’t move. She kept yelling at me to get up, stop being lazy, and come do the dishes. I pulled myself out of bed, having to use the wall to support me.
I see her in the main room and tell her that I genuinely didn’t feel well. She scoffed at me and said I needed to stop acting. My brother had stepped in the main room then and immediately took a step back seeing me. “Oh my god, you’re literally gray. You look terrible, Mom are you seeing her?” My mom didn’t say a thing, but my grandmother came out of her room, hearing my brother, and also gasped in horror, expressing how terrible I looked.
It was only then that my mother said, “Okay, let’s get you to a hospital.” I had a particularly bad case of strep throat. Anyway, I’m 20 now. She still doesn’t believe me if I’m sick or hurt. She’s always claiming that I’m being dramatic, even though I’m not the type to play-up my sicknesses. In fact, I even tend to downplay them.
Is That a Threat or a Promise?
My mother is sending me a copy of her will. She said if I ever open the envelope before she passes, she will kill herself. And if she ever sees me in person again, I need to show her the unopened envelope. She said if I “get snippy” about it, she will turn around and go home. I tried to help her find a different place to keep it. But she doesn’t know of one. And she will hassle me about not opening it for the rest of my life.
You Never Visit!
My father-in-law is beyond toxic. My wife always said she wasn’t close with her dad, but we would see him for Christmas every year. We lived in southern California, and her family lives in Michigan. My father-in-law once took a trip to southern California and never told my wife until the day he was flying home. On that call, he told my wife that she “was ungrateful” for not driving down to see him.
She had just had a spinal tap for a meningitis scare and couldn’t drive by herself. Then when my son was born, my father-in-law dropped off another family member but said he needed to run an errand. He didn’t come back for a few hours. When he did, he just said he had to leave. Didn’t even talk to me or my wife. Oh, but it gets worse.
For my son’s second birthday, he said he and his wife would be out of town for a wedding. Turns out, the wedding was the next day, and “out of town” meant 20 miles from our house. The third birthday, he just didn’t show up. When my mother-in-law—they aren’t married anymore—got diagnosed with cancer, my wife called him, and all he had to say was “Huh, crazy” and hung up.
When my mother-in-law passed this last January, he never even checked in on his daughter. My wife calls him out now, and I’ve told him off a few times and “ruined Christmas” after he tried to say my wife wasn’t a good daughter since she never visits.
When I was locked out of the house and my father told me, “You’re not my son” at age eight because I’d forgotten my homework at school. I was let in when my mom came home from work at 11pm. There were a lot of other things that happened before and after that, but being told your status as a family member is that arbitrary really puts it in perspective.
I'm On Your Side
My brother got mad at my dad for bringing him the wrong food—my brother is older and spoiled. When I stood up for my dad against him, my dad yelled at me, marched out of our house, and then didn’t talk to me for two weeks straight, despite the fact we were living in the same household at the time. He proceeded to only talk to my brother and my mom.
Draining Her Accounts
My grandma and I are very close. I live a few hours away from her, and she is not very tech-savvy, so it’s difficult to phone her sometimes. I went home a few weekends ago and we got some time alone to talk. She told me that her sister, my great aunt, is getting pretty sick. She is having problems with her kidneys and it’s affecting her mind.
My aunt and grandma took her to the doctor, and then to get some medications that were about $7. Her card got declined. She hadn’t been checking her accounts, and after calling the bank, she found out they were drained of over $10k in checking and were overdrawn on top of all that. That’s when she discovered a horrific truth.
They called her daughter and granddaughter, and they both admitted to taking the money from her account. My great aunt has been paying their rent for three years and has given them two vehicles. She pays the insurance on them both. This was just the straw that broke the camel’s back, and she is cutting them off. Best of all, the latest update on her health is positive.
What a Waste
I was on the ride home from school and my mom said, “What do you want to do when you grow up?” I answered, “Maybe be an author or something like that.” She replied with “That is so dumb, that is the stupidest thing. You are smart and you have the whole world at your fingertips, and you want to be an author? You can be a scientist or a doctor, but you want to waste your life being an author.”
The first time my husband spent time with my parents was when I realized I was in a toxic family. When we left, he was like, “Wow, your parents have literally not said a single positive thing about you. All their ‘funny’ stories about you growing up are really just awful.” I kind of just figured that was normal. Lots of eye-opening times later, and I don’t talk to my parents anymore for a slew of reasons.
She Chose Things Over People
After my dad passed, we were cleaning out his apartment. My mom, paternal aunt, paternal grandmother, and I were there. I was 11, my parents were divorced, and while my mom tried telling me that my grandma was not a trustworthy person, she detached her own biases enough to still allow me to be close to my dad’s family and make my own decisions.
My dad had a motorcycle, which he adored. At his apartment, because he had no will, every major possession was supposed to be recorded to the estate lawyers to be sorted out later. Nothing was to be taken home. On his motorcycle keys, he had a keychain of a bike. I was in the kitchen alone with my grandma, and spotted them on his key rack.
Nonchalantly, I said, “Oh, it’s dad’s motorcycle keys!” My grandma said, “Oh yeah, it is.” Then she grabbed them and slipped the keys in her pocket. Weeks later, I overheard my mom talking to the lawyer about not being able to find the bike keys. I told her what happened. My mom asked me if I was 100% sure I saw what I saw, and I was positive.
Lawyers spoke to lawyers, and my grandma denied that it ever happened. It came to the point where I had to give a sworn testimony at a deposition, all while my grandma looked me straight in the eye and calmly told everyone present that I “was a grief-stricken delusional child who was prone to lying”. She then tried telling everyone that my word could not be trusted due to the intense trauma of my dad’s passing, and questioned the courts about whether it was wise to believe an 11-year-old over an adult.
She chose possessions over her family. Every member of my dad’s side supported her—and then she topped even herself. She lied on my dad’s gravestone, making him two ranks higher in the service than he was, and then also stating he served in a war that he never did. I don’t even visit my dad’s grave anymore because it’s just lies.
I tried to sporadically interact with them for a few years after that, but officially cut contact in 2013.
There's Only One Manipulator Here
I was waiting outside the toilet at my mom’s house for my partner to come out. I was with her because she has severe depression and anxiety, and wanted someone there. My mother came out of her room and exploded, asking me why I’m sacrificing so much and telling me that my girlfriend was faking it to manipulate me, horrible things like that.
Worst of all, my girlfriend heard everything and broke down really badly. I haven’t taken her to my mother’s since.
Not a Good Apple in the Bunch
I was at my sister’s wedding, and it was the most fun wedding I’ve ever been to. Everyone was having a blast. I was catching up with some first cousins I don’t see very often when my mom walks up to us and starts complaining about how my sister didn’t want to invite some of my mom’s cousins. My sister and I had only met them a few years before and my sister didn’t like them.
My mom insisted that she needed them to be there so she could have fun. The screwed up thing was my sister had given in to my mom’s demands and some of those cousins were actually there. So my mom was actually insulting my sister at her own wedding for letting her have her way. I had known my mom’s siblings and parents were pretty awful, but this was the moment I accepted that she was just as bad.
I didn’t realize this was an example of how awful and toxic my stepmother was at the time, but when I was 11, my stepmother got my two sisters, her biological kids, iPod touches. I did not receive one. At first, I brushed it off as my stepmother not getting me one because I didn’t really listen to music much, but then again neither did my sisters.
I realized years later this was just another example of her blatant favoritism towards her own children, whether she would admit it or not—and trust me, she wouldn’t.
My dad gave me the silent treatment because he thought I crashed the car he had just bought for me and I wouldn’t own up. Why? because it had red marks on either side of the window. He thought I must have hit a barrier or something, despite me pointing out that this would have almost certainly smashed the screen into smithereens.
After a week of racking my brain, I asked if there was a red “for sale” banner across it…he replied yes, then slowly began talking to me again.
She's Not Well
My oldest sister, who is not mentally well, went on a bit of a poisoning streak several years back, and we pretty much told her that either she needs to stop, or she’s officially kicked out of the family. But yeah, so my sister apparently would be spreading salmonella and E. coli into our drinks and food whenever she could.
Me and my dad went into her apartment, and her fridge was full of uncovered raw chicken and it wasn’t even cold. The whole fridge was unplugged. All the chicken had that slimy grey film on top of it and I would have blown chunks right then and there if I hadn’t splattered the toilet bowl two or three times over just earlier that day.
She admitted to us later that before she’d come to hang out with us, she’d rub the slimy, rotting chicken all over her hands and face and then spray on perfume to mask the odor. I always thought her perfume just smelled bad, but I guess it was always because she had the putrid scent of rotten meat all over her skin. Sadly, it gets more horrifying.
Then, for whatever reason, a reason that she couldn’t or wouldn’t explain, she’d take her disgusting hands and rub the rims of our cups or glasses and lick and spit on our food when we weren’t looking. Who does that? Of course, there was tons and tons of mold growing everywhere in her place as well. Every little crack and nook had something growing in it. I left her place fully willing to just cut her out of my life.
The World is Out to Get Him
My brother is the worst. He may be depressed or addicted to his computer or something like that, but he’s just terrible with everybody around him. To him, everybody is stupid, nobody cares about him, and the entire world is out to get him and keeping him from achieving anything. He’s 28, without a job, living with our father.
Meanwhile, our poor father is doing all he can to help him, but there’s nothing to be done. This is, of course, after our mother gave up helping him after many years of putting up with him. In the meantime, my brother has been tormenting everyone who dares talk to him. When visiting my father a few years ago, I saw my brother very briefly.
It was tough for him because I’m getting on with my life. I have my own home, a cool job I love, I’m getting married, money isn’t an issue…and he on the other hand is alone, living at his dad’s, without a job. We talked, again briefly. He tried and tried again to find ways in which he was better than me or to say that I’m stupid. He got frustrated, called me names, and left.
I Never Saw Them Again
My adoptive parents kicked me out my junior year of high school for being gay—they had already known for a while, but my then-boyfriend coming over Christmas morning to exchange gifts made them “deal” with it. They told me to break it off or get out. I declined and came home one day the following January to find out they’d changed the locks.
My boyfriend’s mother found out that I was staying with my aunt and what my parents did, and immediately drove me over to make my parents let me get clothes and items from my room. She then let me stay with their family. A few weeks after that, my parents showed up with officers, claiming they were holding me against my will and brainwashing me.
We told them our side of the story and it ended up in court. I went through the process of getting emancipated while dealing with them and finishing off high school. I haven’t talked to them since I graduated, over a decade ago. I still hear about how crazy and manipulative they are from the stuff they do to my brother when he complains about them, but I won’t see or speak to them under any circumstances.
My mother-in-law killed her grandchild, my daughter. She was two years old at the time. My husband and I let her babysit the baby while we were busy with job-related things. It was summertime and they were staying in the mother-in-law’s house that has a pond next to it. My daughter loved water; bath-time was her favorite time of day.
They were playing at the edge of the pond and then the mother-in-law remembered she had to take clothes out of the dryer, so she left a two-year-old alone next to the quite a large body of water. My daughter’s childlike curiosity plus her love of water resulted in her getting into the deep part of the pond and drowning. All because she considered clothes in the dryer an important enough reason to leave a toddler unsupervised.
When she realized what happened, she started to panic and call for help. Her neighbor heard her, they got into the pond and called an ambulance, but it was too late. Imagine what it’s like for a parent to come home to the person you trusted your child with and they tell you your child is gone. Somehow though, it got worse than all that.
Throughout it all, she was begging us not to involve the authorities into this. She kept repeating it was an accident and she “doesn’t know how it could have happened,” “was only gone for a moment,” ”feels even worse than we do” and “calling the authorities won’t bring her back.” We did call them, of course, and she was charged with negligence and sentenced to three years behind bars, which, in my opinion, was too light of a punishment.
Now recently she was released, and my husband was the first person she looked for contact with. He never once visited her while she was behind bars. It doesn’t matter that she served her sentence, neither I or my husband will ever forgive her for this. Besides, she hasn’t asked for forgiveness; all she gave us were excuses and more excuses.
In the courtroom, my husband told her she’s not his mother anymore and that he never wants to see her face again. Our marriage was damaged too, we were depressed, we fought a lot, and there were times when we were on the brink of divorce. We separated for a while, and I left for another country thinking that this was it for us. However, my husband came to look for me and we managed to save our family and continue our life together.
I couldn’t bring myself to have any more children for a long time but eventually, I got pregnant again and last summer we welcomed our son. He’s nine months old now. Obviously, we weren’t going to tell my mother-in-law we’re parents again, but then my nightmare happened. She saw us walking with a baby stroller and realized that once more she has a grandchild.
So she tried to get in the contact with my husband. First, she reproached him for not visiting her, cried about how hard it was for her to spend all those years behind bars, that she shouldn’t have been there because she’s too old for that, how could he do this to his own mother, how could he abandon her, etc. Then she was like, “But I saw you have a new baby, I’m so glad I have a grandchild again!”
Then she went on about is it a boy or a girl, when will she be able to see them and meet them because she wants to take care of them so much. My husband told her immediately that she doesn’t have anything, this is our child, and ours only. Our son doesn’t have a grandmother, we’ll be telling him this as he grows up, and he will never ever in a million years be anywhere around her.
We’re 100% on the same page about this. The loss of our daughter still hurts and we’re going to do everything we can to protect our son from her. He doesn’t need an irresponsible grandmother who would likely endanger his life just like she did with his sister. My mother-in-law was shocked to hear this and began to wail about us being so evil and cruel towards her, that we’re going to hold that against her forever even though she paid for it and we cannot be so heartless to prevent her from seeing her grandchild.
But what was she thinking? What was she hoping for? That we’re really going to let her around our baby? That we’ll ever trust her with babysitting again? Honestly, I’m not sure if I can leave my son with any babysitter. I don’t trust babysitters anymore, because if a grandmother can be careless enough to let a child perish, who knows what an unrelated person could do.
So my husband told her firmly that she’ll have no access to the baby and he doesn’t want to talk to her either so she should do something useful with her life and leave us alone. My mother-in-law wasn’t having it. That evening, she came to our house, asking to see her grandchild again. We didn’t let her come in, obviously, and she got mad, claiming that as a grandmother, she has rights to meet her grandchild.
We told her that she lost all her rights to our children when she let our daughter drown. If a trust is broken, it cannot be repaired and there are some things that just cannot be forgiven. She escalated it from that point. She told us that she’ll go to court and she’ll demand permission to meet the baby. I’m not sure if there is such a thing but if it’s true, I highly doubt she’ll get it considering her record.
If we need to go to court and prove she’s not the type of grandmother you should let around your child, we’ll do it. If she comes back again, we’ll call the authorities. If we need to leave this country and go live somewhere else just to be away from her, we’ll do it too. Nothing’s impossible. I’m amazed at her lack of shame. She knows very well she tore apart our lives three years ago.
No parent should bury their child, but we had to because of her, and now she comes to us as if she’s the best relative ever, as if nothing ever happened.
She Ruined My Plans
My great grandmother gifted me her wedding ring to propose to my now wife. Back when I was a little kid, she gave it to my mom to give to me one day. I had waited and dreamed about that perfect proposal for my entire life. I had not yet proposed to my girlfriend when my mom just abruptly handed her the rings and explained what they were and what I was planning on doing with them. I was devastated.
I hadn’t even proposed yet! She completely ruined my lifelong plan, the surprise, the build up, etc. I’m still very sad to this day that this moment was ruined for us like that.
I’m a college student. When I get stressed/anxious, I get nasty acne breakouts. A couple of weeks ago my midterms began, and my acne started getting bad. My parents have me FaceTime them every week to check in. When they noticed my acne a couple of weeks ago, they made comments like, verbatim, “You look exponentially worse than you did last week”!
Also, “Your face looks awful”! It’s made me feel pretty bad. Normally, I’m a very passive person. But recently, I’ve gotten more confident, and so tonight I decided to stand up for myself. By the way, I have a mental health condition that my parents are very concerned about. My condition is well-regulated, and I haven’t experienced any significant flare-ups in over a year.
Regardless, if I get stressed or worried, or if I otherwise act out of character, my parents immediately assume my condition has worsened, and that my life is therefore in danger. Fast forward to tonight. I called my parents at the scheduled time and they said, “Hang on, let’s switch this to a video call”.
I said, “I’d rather we keep it an audio call. In the past couple of weeks, you’ve made some comments about my complexion that I was uncomfortable with, and though I know you didn’t mean anything harmful, it still hurt, and since my face is still broken out I’m not comfortable talking to you over video”. The tone of the call changed completely—in a bad way.
“No, turn on the video. You don’t have a choice”. I stood my ground and just repeated, “I’d love to tell you about my week and hear what’s been going on in your life, over the phone. I’m just not comfortable using video”. My parents didn’t take that for an answer. Since I rarely say “no” to them, their first thought was that I was mentally ill again.
They told me, “We need to see your face for safety reasons, because we need to make sure you’re healthy”. I replied, “I will tell you honestly that I’m doing fine. Aside from being stressed about midterms, which is a pretty normal response, I am healthy. And since you’ve told me you trust me, you should trust that I’m telling the truth and I’m doing fine”.
They told me they refused to believe that, and accused me of hiding something from them. My mom asked me what on Earth they’d said that could have been hurtful, and that they didn’t do anything of the sort. About 20 minutes in, I was not going to budge. I was not going to turn the call on video. Especially since they didn’t respect my request, which I felt was simple and reasonable.
My parents were getting furious, and it began to get scary. They told me that if I didn’t turn on video and show them my face, they were going to call 9-1-1 and my campus’s security system, in addition to getting immediately into the car and driving the three hours to my school. When I told them I was disappointed they didn’t trust me, they laughed and asked me what on Earth I was talking about, that I had no right to say that.
I had lost their trust, but I was irrational in thinking that I had the right to stop trusting them. I was called a spoiled brat, irrational. My parents asked me what they ever did so wrong to deserve this treatment. They told me how worried they were for my safety, and if I could just turn on video, they would be happy to know I was safe.
My mother told me that if I didn’t turn on video, she would call the authorities, and they would take me into custody and I’d be spending the next six hours, at minimum, in the waiting office of a mental health facility. I was told that I was acting immature, and I wouldn’t be allowed to attend the summer program I’ve been accepted to. They kept going, though.
My father told me I was shutting them out and told me that if I didn’t want to lose all their trust and respect that I would have to turn on the video. I just kept saying, “I’m disappointed that you don’t trust me enough to respect my decision. All I asked was to keep the call off video this week. And I understand and appreciate that you’re concerned for me. This is me acting in my best interest”.
Finally, after about an hour of going back and forth, I decided, the heck with it. I have work to get done. I don’t have time for this argument. When I switched the call to video for them, my mother showed me that she had 9-1-1 into her cell phone, and she told me that she had been hovering over the “call” button for almost 20 minutes.
She showed me all the pamphlets and folders with emergency services and numbers, which she had been going through, and my father told me he had been just about to get in the car to head to my school. She started crying and talking about how worried she was, and she said, “Promise me you’ll never act like this again. This was stupid”.
I asked, “What do you mean by ‘this?'” She said, “Digging your heels in, and being this irrational”. I said I couldn’t promise that, and I reiterated that I didn’t feel I was being irrational; all I wanted was to call over phone and not use video this week, and I felt I had not been respected. Then my dad snapped. “Don’t you EVER say anything about not video calling, ever again”.
I’m feeling alright (and kind of good) after finally standing up to my parents for the first time in my life, but I’m still drained and definitely shaken. Part of me wants to laugh at the ridiculousness of the situation, and part of me wants to cry because I hate that this is the reality of my family. Where do I go from here? I do enjoy surface-level banter and chitchat with my parents.
I don’t want to go completely no contact with them. However, I also know that this situation is going to repeat itself the next time I stand my ground against them, and I don’t want to spend my time on people who don’t respect me. They say it’s a healthy practice to cut those people out of your life. What do you do when those people are your parents?
You Ruined My Birthday
I had my graduation from engineering on the same day as my mother’s birthday. I, of course, had nothing to do with choosing the date. But you couldn’t convince my mom of that. My mother said I “ruined her birthday”—and then she got a cruel revenge. She scheduled her birthday party to be on my actual birthday. Her birthday is in March, mine is in August.
Reviewing the Footage
My fiancé’s mother is a single mother, and she is waayyy overly attached to my fiancé. She seems to think she is entitled to be a part of every aspect of my fiancé’s life and that she must always come first in all situations. For example, she was livid when we got engaged because we didn’t visit her first after the proposal. She pitched a fit that we had stopped by my parents’ first to show them the ring.
When we did arrive at her house, she was so angry that she ended up throwing a cake at us in her driveway. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. She has made my life a nightmare since we got together, but it became much worse when I got pregnant. She has made numerous attempts to convince my fiancé to leave me because she doesn’t believe I am pregnant with his baby.
Her “proof” is that I was too fat, so I must be lying about the due date. This is just one of the many things she has done to hurt and embarrass me. We have limited our contact with her as a result, but she always seems to find a way to weasel back in. So, last week I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. Both our families were not able to come to the hospital and will likely not be able to visit in person for a while.
My parents told me they planned to decorate the front of my house to welcome the baby home, and my mom said she had ordered a bunch of things off Etsy for the occasion. When I arrived home, I was surprised to see that there were no decorations. I didn’t think much of it and just assumed my family had run out of time. It wasn’t like them to forget, but I assumed there was a good explanation. Then I got a heart-stopping phone call.
My mom called me after I was settled and asked me how I liked the decorations and presents. I asked her what she was talking about and told her that there was nothing outside when I got home. My mom proceeded to text me several pictures of my house fully decorated in pink baby gear. I also noticed several wrapped presents on my porch in the picture.
They were also missing along with a large banner, balloon arrangements, and several other decorations. My mother told me one of the presents contained a little sweater knitted by my grandma that I wore as a baby. I had been looking forward to receiving this and passing it on to my daughter. I was extremely confused as we live in a rural area so porch pirates are not very common.
I asked my fiancé to check our security camera. He pulled up the footage and we were both shocked at what we saw. We saw his mother taking everything down and putting it all in her car. The footage was very clear and you can easily see her license plate in the video. My fiancé was livid and immediately called his mother. She tried to deny it at first but soon admitted what she had done.
She claimed she was angry that she was not given the opportunity to decorate our house herself. She said my family had insulted her by excluding her, and she began to cry about how horrible we are to her. My fiancé was not having it. He said she had one hour to bring everything back to our place or he would be calling the authorities.
She then laughed and said that she had already thrown everything into a donation bin and told us good luck finding it. My fiancé has already driven around to several donation bins in the area to check but hasn’t found anything yet. We now agree that she will have no contact with our child in the future. I am beyond done with her and I just hope this is all over.
Just Thinking Out Loud
After my twin brother lost his life in a car crash, my parents sat me down. When they began talking, my blood ran cold. My brother’s girlfriend had been especially devastated by the loss, and they were worried about her, so they’d come up with what they thought was an ingenious idea. They wanted me to date my dead brother’s girlfriend.